Publicat a Cordis el 7 de febrer de 2007

Canvis que si Espanya els llegeix i copia malament ens poden afectar negativament.

Switzerland needs to better coordinate its higher education research and development (R&D) at a national level in order to avoid fragmentation and improve standards, according to a new report from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Switzerland is a unique country for many reasons. It is one of the smallest countries in the world, but has one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world, ranking fifth among the OECD’s list of the richest countries.

Its educational system is also quite unlike any other. The responsibility for the educational sector is divided between the country’s confederation, 26 cantons and the municipalities.
There is no national programme or federal ministerial office solely responsible for higher education R&D, except in the vocational education sector. As a result, universities mainly set their priorities individually, while policy makers tend to formulate their priorities at cantonal level.

Because of this fragmentation, the higher education research base has suffered, say the authors of the report, who find the quality of research to be not as high as expected.

Although reforms have started to harmonise the system, the report pinpoints a number of weaknesses which need to be urgently addressed. First, it suggests that researchers should be worried about the low level of internationalisation of Swiss educational research. Increasing cooperation and the mobilisation pf researchers internationally could result in new perspectives and fresh approaches, as well as providing opportunities for disseminating Swiss contributions, surmise the authors of the report.

Other problem areas include the gaps in coverage of some research areas; an unbalanced situation regarding empirical and non-empirical research; and the need for improving the impact of research results on policy-making and educational practices.

According to the OECD report, responding to these challenges does not necessarily require more investment in higher education R&D. They could be met by both maximising current expenditure and the performances of existing Swiss educational research and development institutions.

Some initiatives have already set out a good path for change. The report points to the Swiss Council for Educational Research (CORECHED), which is working on national coordination and priority setting.

Another avenue is through the ‘Leading Houses’. Established by the Federal Office for Vocational Education and Training, these are centres of expertise that conduct research on their own account, grant research contracts and promote young research talent, while being well networked internationally. They can be seen as a model of connecting research, policy-making and practice for other education sectors, suggest the authors of the report.

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