Universities Australia is running a project to develop a national baseline for Work Integrated Learning (WIL) activities across the university sector, underpinned by a drive to strengthen collaborations between industry and universities, and to create innovative partnerships that support work-ready graduates.
WIL is becoming an increasingly important aspect of university education, as students and employers demand career ready graduates with transferable skills, however, there is a limited understanding across the sector about the extent to which students experience authentic WIL activities as part of their university studies.
As part of the UA project, UWA conducted an audit on 2017 units offered and submitted the data in March this year. The data was collected over one month, with unit coordinators filling out a table to categorise unit content and assignments according to a set of codes for WIL Type and Delivery Type outlined by Universities Australia.
Through this process we discovered that 67 per cent of majors at UWA have a WIL activity; and 55 per cent of majors have a WIL activity in a degree-specific core unit. WIL is programmed into the curriculum at UWA in a range of ways, with examples of formal activity (such as WIL project activities embedded in core units), and incidental activities (such as fieldwork activity in elective units).
The Universities Australia audit data was considered by participants at the UWA WIL Summit, and provides a starting point for discussion as the University seeks to provide authentic and high quality WIL experiences for every student at UWA.