Research on TVET lecturer training in Africa and the European Union (Seamus Needham)

The sixth South Africa-European Union summit in 2013 reaffirmed the ongoing and enhanced collaboration in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), while new plans were made for collaboration in the areas of national skills planning, new skills for new jobs and internationalisation in higher education. In the Senior Officials meeting that followed in November 2013 in Brussels, more ideas were exchanged between South Africa and the Eurpean Union (EU) with regard to mutual cooperation in the field of higher education. In this context, a joint study was proposed on TVET College lecturers training in the EU and in South Africa.

In 2014, the TVET Institute, the vocational arm of the Institute for Post-School Studies at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), was invited to co-write a proposal with two research consortia in Europe for a European Union (EU) tender on ‘TVET College Lecturer Education through International Cooperation’. Professor Joy Papier and Seamus Needham participated in this proposal and the project was awarded in December 2014.  

The research commenced in December 2014 and involves a comparative study of TVET College lecturer education in five African countries namely; Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania, as well as taking into account TVET College lecturer education in European countries.  The key focus of this research will be to compare experiences and good practices of TVET teacher training across these contexts that can inform future policy decisions between the EU, Africa and South Africa.  The study will make use of local TVET experts in Africa and will include in its scope the following areas:

  • Key policies and programmes;
  • Qualifications systems for TVET teachers;
  • Quality assurance mechanisms, and
  • Induction and professional development of TVET teachers.

Professor Joy Papier and Seamus Needham will primarily focus on routes into TVET College lecturer training in South Africa to date, and assist in the formulation of the final comprehensive research report to be completed by the end of June 2015.

Seamus Needham is the Research and Planning Manager of the FET Institute (the vocational arm of the Institute of Post School Studies - IPSS) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

For further information contact Seamus Needham at