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International Specialised Skills Institute

The VET International Practitioner Fellowship program, facilitated by the International Specialised Skills (ISS) Institute, provides eligible applicants with the opportunity to travel overseas for participation in applied research to generate actionable knowledge, find solutions, and develop innovative practices that are applicable in their chosen professional field.


The ISS Institute has been supported and funded by the Department of Education and Training (the department) since 1999.

The department funds the Fellowship program to support the priorities of Skills First, which includes developing workers’ capacity and capability, innovative training practices and teacher quality within the VET sector. These Skills First priorities play a key role in the development of the VET sector and Victoria’s current and future workforce.

The purpose of the Fellowship program is to create opportunities within the VET sector that assist in building on the Victorian Government’s Education State initiative. The Education State strives to improve outcomes for young people and adult learners in Victoria by developing excellence and reducing the impacts of disadvantage on their professional pathways.

Who can apply for a VET International Practitioner Fellowship?

To be eligible for the Fellowship program, applicants must be:

  • An Australian Permanent Resident over the age of 18; and
  • VET practitioners employed by Victorian Government contracted Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) including TAFES, private RTOS and Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board-registered Learn Local (LL) providers

Fellowship Funding and Priority Areas

The department and ISS Institute will offer Fellowships valued at $13,000 each under the Fellowship program. The value of these Fellowships will cover the expenses associated with each Fellow’s International Applied Research activities, as well as airfares and accommodation.

Those that are eligible are invited to apply for the Fellowship program and will support the continued development of VET delivery focusing on at least one of the following priority areas:

  • Developing quality training with deep and meaningful connections to emerging or ongoing industry needs; or
  • Developing education approaches that address the gaps between disadvantaged learners and high-quality education and training outcomes

For more information about the program, please visit the ISS Institute websiteExternal Link .

What is International Applied Research?

International Applied Research refers to solving practical problems through applied research and study activities. These activities are often used in education, training and across industries to generate knowledge, find solutions or develop innovative practices that are directly applicable to industry-related work. The Fellowship program invests in Australians seeking to undertake applied research and study outside of Australia and apply their learnings in an Australian context upon return.

International Applied Research activities conducted under the Fellowship program may include:

  • Meeting knowledgeable industry leaders;
  • Conducting interviews with leaders and/or workers;
  • Observing and studying workplace practices;
  • Immersing in new workplaces and environments;
  • Undertaking specialised training; and/or
  • Attending a specialist conference.

How can I apply?

Applicants to the Fellowship program must complete the VET International Practitioner Fellowship Application FormExternal Link on the ISS Institute website.

Applications must address nine (9) open-ended selection criteria questions. The questions relate to the applicant’s professional interests, proposed areas for skill or knowledge development, and how the applicant’s participation in the Fellowship program will benefit themselves and the broader community. Responses to each question should be between 200-300 words.

Applicants must also provide the following supporting documentation:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV);
  • One (1) employer endorsement letter; and
  • Two (2) letters of support

Fellowship Reporting

Fellows are required to complete two reports upon their return from their international experience: an interim report and a final report.

Interim Report

This report is to be completed 8 weeks upon the Fellow’s return from travel.

This is submitted to the ISS Institute and the DET program area managing the ISS Institute.

The purpose of this report is to highlight:

  • the Fellowship background
  • the Victorian/Australian Context
  • The International Fellowship Experience
  • Forward Planning for dissemination and implementation

Final Report

This report is the final product that is submitted to ISS Institute, the department and other stakeholders, which is the guiding document to implement changes within the Victorian VET sector.

The final report should be extensive and provide key recommendations to the department pertaining to suggested changes to incorporate within scope of their selected Fellowship topic. Content within the final report includes:

  • Executive Summary of Fellowship
  • Findings
  • Considerations and Next Steps
  • Impacts of Fellowship
  • Sector Engagement

Past Fellowship reports

Please see below for the most recent VET International Practitioner Fellowship reports (as of March 2022).

  1. Special Education needs is everybody’s business!External Link
    Felicity William
  2. Sustainable Fashion EducationExternal Link
    Marina McGrath
  3. Victorian TAFE Hospitality Students Employability OutcomesExternal Link
    Damain Shrivastav
  4. Daring to dream of Alternate FuturesExternal Link
    Elizabeth Bonner

Additional ISS Institute Fellowship reports may be accessed hereExternal Link .

Incoming Fellows

The Department funds the International Industry Leader Fellowships to enable leading international experts to come and share their expertise in Victoria to build capacity and capability within the VET sector.

These Fellowships are aimed at informing the VET sector and the Department of best practices from across the world.

Due to COVID-19, the 2020/’21 Incoming Fellows were delayed. However, the ISS Institute has organised the following for presentations at the ISS Illuminate Online Forum for April 2022, as well as the face-to-face Conference in June/July 2022. There will be a third Incoming Fellow to be announced later this year.

Incoming Fellows 2022

  • Sustainability and Environmental Improvements within the VET Sector

    Dr. Margarita Pavlova is a member of the Department of International Education and Lifelong Learning at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Dr. Pavlova served as the Director of the UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre at Griffith University for six years and she continues with this role at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Margarita has rich international work experience in education across a variety of contexts (Europe, Asia, USA and Australia).

    Her research focus is concerned with policy, planning and curriculum development in vocational education at both national and international levels. She is internationally recognised for her work. Margarita’s current research and development projects are in the area of education for sustainability, development and green skills.

    She has published widely in the fields of her expertise and currently serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Vocational Education and Training and on the editorial advisory boards of two book series published by Springer.

  • Blended and Online Learning

    Neil Morris has 20 years’ experience as an academic teacher, researcher, leader and manager in the UK Higher Education sector, specialising in effective use of digital and online education to support students’ education and maximise flexible and inclusive opportunities for education. Morris is the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Digital Transformation at the University of Leeds where he held a Chair in Educational Technology, Innovation and Change.

    He has a track record of senior leadership and has delivered significant positive institutional change. He has a national and global reputation for research-based leadership and supporting digital, blended and online learning. He is a National Teaching Fellow and has won multiple awards for teaching excellence. Morris is an internationally leading researcher in digital and online education and was the Director of the Centre for Research in Digital Education at Leeds.

    Morris was the Principal Investigator on a ESRC Newton research grant investigating the changing nature of higher education as a result of digital technology. Morris was also the Co-director of the Ufi Trust funded project to create the highly successful suite of Blended Learning Essentials online courses for VET practitioners, on the FutureLearn platform.

Previous Incoming Fellows that have presented within the Victorian VET sector include:

  • Trauma Informed Education

    Dr. Kirke Olson presented at various workshops, seminars and presentations to share his knowledge on trauma-informed education. His work focuses on how educators can gain deeper insights into student behaviours by developing an understanding of how the brain works and how knowledge of brain science can be used to create a positive and safe learning environment.

    Dr. Olson’s presentations covered topics including Building Resilience through Trauma Informed Practice; the Neuroscience of Trauma informed Education; Awaken the Positive Forces in your Classroom and The Invisible Classroom: Using Mindfulness; and Neuroscience and Relationships for Teacher & Student Wellbeing.

  • Innovation and Mobility within the VET Sector

    Jose Luis Fernandez Maure is the Head of the International Department at TKNIKA and leader of the Applied Research and Innovation Affinity Group of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics. As head of the International Department at TKNIKA, Fernandez Maure leads strategies to develop and manage international innovation and mobility.

    He also heads the Vocational Education and Training International Basque Campus (VETIBAC), which is tasked with aiding Basque companies abroad to provide training to improve professional and personal competences.

    Whilst in Australia, Fernandez Maure delivered workshops face to face, via webinar and was the keynote speaker at the EdVET conference, where several hundred VET practitioners had the opportunity to learn from him.

  • Technology and Remote management Training

    Trina Hoefling has been transforming the workplace virtually since providing remote management training in 1984. She believes that “Technology is the enabler, but People are the key.” Hoefling is an accomplished thought leader with a passion for helping people and organisations grow.

    Hoefling co‐founded the Smart Workplace and Virtual Workplace University, a learning portal for workplace competence in the mobile work world. ISS Institute partnered with eWorks and Chisholm TAFE (Professional Educators College) to facilitate this Fellowship and have her work across the sector and DET.


ISS Institute

Any questions regarding the Fellowship program may be directed to the ISS Institute team:

Phone: 03 9347 4583
Website: Link

Reviewed 18 January 2023

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