Thursday 17 June 2021


A complete return to pre-pandemic TVET policy and practice is unlikely, says a new report by the Association of Colleges released today at the British Council’s international education conference Going Global.

The report from the British Council and authored by the Association of Colleges outlines how international technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is innovating and changing as a result of the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic.

Based on research across five countries (Ghana, India, Malaysia, South Africa and the UK), How are vocational institutions innovating, evolving and changing as result of Covid-19?  sets out key observations for digital transformation, curriculum development and work-based learning.  Findings in the five countries include:

Only 6% of institutions say they will maintain pure face-to-face teaching delivery;

9 in 10 had to change their institutional policies since the onset of Covid-19;

Just under half made changes to their assessment methods for the future. 

Change that was initially implemented as an emergency response to lockdowns and campus closures has generated efficient and sustainable practices that suggest a complete return to pre-pandemic TVET policy and practice is unlikely.

The report provides recommendations for both TVET policy-makers and practitioners to solidify temporary changes into more permanent policy in areas such as blended learning and the upskilling of teaching staff.

The report also highlights that TVET is vital for international social and economic advancement and that changes in institutional practice could have lasting long-term benefits. However, pre-Covid-19 challenges in TVET remain, particularly around student inclusion. TVET plays a fundamental role in the skills infrastructure of all five countries cited in the report and the impact of the pandemic between technology, staff, students, employers and the curriculum provide an opportunity for policymakers to reflect on the impact of digital transformation in TVET.

 Dr Rossi Vogler, Senior Consultant Skills Systems, British Council, said:

“The British Council is pleased to present its latest research to support the TVET reform in the aftermath of Covid-19 and to encourage international collaboration. The report gives encouraging indications that emerging innovation can contribute to reinvigorating TVET and contribute to a more resilient skills sector in the future, a sector so crucial for the post pandemic recovery and for economic prosperity and social inclusion more generally.”

 Emma Meredith, International Director, Association of Colleges said:

“The presence of Covid-19 across the world has brought immense challenges but also innovation within education and training. The move to remote learning and shift in practices has allowed institutions to experiment and evolve and to raise the profile of TVET both locally and nationally. Policymakers and practitioners should incorporate the recommendations set out in this report in their recovery programmes and long-term strategy for TVET.”


Notes to Editor

Three institutions in each of the five countries were approached, located across city, urban and rural settings.

For more information, please contact

About the British Council

About the British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

About Association of Colleges

Association of Colleges is the national voice for further education, sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges in England. We are a not-for-profit membership organisation established in 1996 by colleges, for colleges. Our members make up almost 95% of the sector - transforming 2.2 million lives each year.