Stories of success: student, workplace supervisor and university staff experiences of equitable student access to WIL placements

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Through an on-line survey and guided interviews with students, workplace supervisors and university staff, the researcher explored the conditions, practices and models for WIL placements that promote and enable diverse learner access to WIL placements.

Based on the project’s findings, 11 composite stories of equitable access to WIL placements were developed. Each ‘success story’ captures multiple narratives and experiences of the participants in the project. While participants were given the option to be identified, the majority preferred to remain anonymous. As a result, the composite stories were developed to ensure the anonymity and privacy of the participants. Each story highlights how specific conditions for inclusive WIL manifest themselves in practical ways that support widening student access to placements. Advice and recommendations provided with each story align with the actual experiences reported by students, workplace supervisors and university staff but are not actual quotes. Each story can be used to evaluate how current practices meet student needs and where gaps exist. The stories can also be used to predict and anticipate the kinds of measures and resources required to better support equitable student access to placements. As a set, the stories are a tool for centering student voices in the design and delivery of WIL curriculum in higher education settings.

The stories presented below are organised in three groups: students, workplace supervisors and university staff. The stories do not represent the voices of people from all three stakeholders groups, disciplines, faculties, organisations or models of placement. Instead, the stories provide insights into commonly reported on barriers and issues that are encountered by students and the practices employed by all three stakeholders that have been useful in opening doors to placements.

A report on the project is available on the ACEN website (see Stories of Success: Inclusive work-integrated learning (WIL) practices that support diverse learners by Dr Jacqueline Mackaway).
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAustralian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN)
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Equity in education
  • Widening access
  • work-integrated learning (WIL)
  • Resource


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