Development of capacities and graduate schools as well as the implementation of a PhD program for vocational education and training research in Georgia

In the age of globalization education is the key to sustainable economic growth and social participation. In this context the relevance of vocational education and training is increasing. The German vocational education training system is held in high regards internationally and serves many countries as an example for the modernization of their national vocational education training systems. This also applies to Georgia, which is currently making particularly strong efforts to reform this sector. The reason for this is the ailing educational structures, which can no longer keep up with the growing demand for standardized, high quality qualifications. Above all, there is a lack of future-oriented, sustainable concepts and structures which would focus specifically on the qualification of vocational education teachers, creating shortage at the very foundation of high-quality vocational education training.

This is where VoCasian comes in. The superordinate goal of the bilateral (German-Georgian) vocational training cooperation manifests itself in the establishment of graduate schools and the development and implementation of a needs-based PhD program. These measures serve a) to build capacities for the professionalization of vocational education teachers, b) to promote young academics in the field of vocational education training research and c) to establish cross-university and interdisciplinary network of experts.

Past vocational education training programs showed clearly that individual elements, concepts or system components of foreign education systems cannot be transferred to other countries on a 1 to 1 basis but must be harmonized with the educational, economic and social framework conditions and goals of the individual recipient country. Therefore, both the planning and construction of the graduate schools and the design of the respective portfolio (PhD programs, services, training, etc.) are empirically supported. The same applies to the conception of the PhD program for vocational education and training research. The methodological approach is based on the key parameter model of sustainable vocational education training cooperation (Stockmann, 2019). Accordingly, planning and design decisions for international vocational education training measures are based on a comprehensive ex-ante evaluation (e.g. educational needs, situation and stakeholder analyzes).

As part of a stakeholder analysis, all relevant stakeholder groups (universities, students, ministries, companies) are identified and evaluated in regards to their respective interests as well as the influence on the profile formation of the graduate schools and the application-oriented PhD program. This not only unlocks the different interests of the actors involved, but also lays bare potential conflicts of interest and possible obstacles which could undermine the project. The early detection of resistance and risks allows the development of tailored solutions that meet the individual requirements. At the same time, the educational and qualification needs of vocational teachers from the point of view of universities, vocational education training institutions, the private sector and educational policy are recorded, whereby different organizational units and hierarchical levels (e.g. management and specialist levels) are taken into account. In order to get the most comprehensive and detailed insight into the framework conditions and educational needs of the target country, a mixed methods research design will be used. The Georgian university partners are involved in the conceptualization and operationalization (questionnaire construction, creation of the interview guidelines) as well as the data collection and evaluation. This planned participation on all levels is designed to allow a significant contribution to the local capacity building capabilities.

The results of the ex-ante evaluation will flow into the conception of the PhD program. The program itself will be implemented at the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and formatively and summatively evaluated.


Project details and contact



01.10.2020 - 31.03.2023


Funding reference number



Contact persons

Marcel Martsch


Project management

Prof. Dr. Frank B√ľnning


Project team members

Marcel Martsch

Hannes Tegelbeckers


Cooperating institutions (national and international):

  • Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi
  • Georgien Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, Batumi
  • Ministry of Education and Science (Department of Education Georgia)