Student stands with briefcase

What Does Good Practice in WIL Look Like?

Work-integrated learning (aka WIL) is an umbrella term encompassing a range of experience and practice based learning strategies.

Macquarie’s PACE program incorporates many forms of WIL such as internships, community projects, partner panels with on-campus mentoring, and fieldwork with a partnership component.

WIL is considered a key strategy for enhancing student employability and work-readiness, through opportunities for students to engage directly with industry and community organisations.

But how does WIL impact on graduate employability? How are WIL programs organised to promote such outcomes? What are some of the challenges of implementing WIL within a university? What does good practice in WIL look like?

These questions form the focus of a recent Good Practice Report on Work Integrated Learning. The report, authored by Professor Judyth Sachs, Dr Anna Rowe and Dr Michael Wilson, was commissioned by the Department of Education and Training, building on an earlier report by Jan Orrell in 2011.

Drawing on 40 case studies sourced from Australia and abroad, the report focuses on five areas, and offers recommendations for future practice.
• Definitions of WIL, models and benefits
• Approaches to WIL
• Curriculum matters
• Student experience and managing diversity
• Partnerships and stakeholder management

Key findings include the need to: identify a common language that industry, universities and students understand; align university curricula with industry requirements and expertise; systematically collect data and evidence to inform WIL program development and quality enhancement; ensure partnerships between industry and universities are well planned and resourced; and address accessibility issues for diverse groups including further opportunities for Indigenous and mature age students to engage in WIL.

Interested in finding out more? You can read the full report online.