By working in partnership with all stakeholders the University of Newcastle is striving to deliver innovative teaching and learning programs such as Work Integrated Learning (WIL) for its students, to ensure that they are career-ready when they graduate.
Partnerships formed by WIL are an important element of the University’s NeW Directions planning process and its 2025 vision of working with its community and stakeholders both locally, nationally and internationally, in the education and industry sector, to deliver world-class innovations in education and research.
These WIL partnerships also offer the University a unique opportunity to consult directly with the organisations, who are working alongside the University to ensure that tomorrow’s graduates are invested with the relevant skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a competitive and rapidly changing world.
The University has established WIL partnerships with the peak business organisation, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who together with the Innovative Research University’s body, of which the University of Newcastle is part, have released a series of documents to encourage organisations to take on a WIL student.
The University of Newcastle is a global institutional partner, sponsor and active member of the World Association of Cooperative Education (WACE). WACE is the peak professional organisational organisation dedicated to developing, expanding, branding and advocating for co-operative and work-integrated education programs within industry and educational institutions.
We were honoured to be invited this year by WACE to be one of only three universities worldwide to be featured in the Best of Co-op Guide. The Best of Co-op Guide reaches 3.5 million students in the USA.
In 2012, our Alumnus Associate Professor Peter O’Mara was inducted into the WACE Alumni Hall of Fame.
On a national level, The University of Newcastle is an active member of the Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) and has been helping to develop a web-based tool to act as an online ‘gateway ‘for industry, business and the community to engage with the University about WIL.
The ACEN National WIL Portal project aims to:
- Increase employer access to and engagement with WIL
- Facilitation of more WIL placements nationally to a diverse range of students, with greater coverage in rural and regional locations
- The provision of a stronger and more accessible platform for realising and measuring the relationship between education and work in WIL.
Information about the WIL Portal project is available at www.acen.edu.au
The University of Newcastle recognises and values the importance of partnerships with industry and with other higher education institutions. These partnerships include collaborating on WIL research projects of national significance with other universities such as the 2009 Australian Learning and Teaching Council Fellowship - Curriculum and Pedagogic bases for effectively integrating practice-based experiences and the 2012 OLT project, Assessing the impact of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) on student work-readiness .