Work integrated learning and student satisfaction: a qualitative study in a business school

Leanne M. Carter, Angela Romero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

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A greater appreciation of Australia's labour and skills challenges, combined with a deeper recognition of a workplace as a unique and valuable learning environment for students, has resulted in a shift in strategic decision-making by Australian universities. Accordingly, work integrated learning (WIL) has recently received increased attention in Australian universities as they strengthen their commitment to this pedagogy. This has led to demands for higher education management to consider student employability and work readiness as well as aspects of student satisfaction. In order to evaluate student satisfaction of WIL in universities, a review was made of a Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) unit delivered by the Faculty of Business and Economics. Semi-structured face-to-face interviews of 21 students from the 2011 and 2012 academic years form the basis of this research. The use of qualitative research methods reflects the need for more in-depth analysis of the antecedents relating to student satisfaction and intention. The research questions consider whether there is a relationship between WIL and enhanced student satisfaction and what the contributing factors might be that lead to this increased satisfaction. The findings identified a positive relationship between the WIL subject and student satisfaction. The emerging themes indicate that the levels of awareness, industry engagement, employability skills, word of mouth, and academic factors are all important variables that lead to student satisfaction. Future research may investigate the strength of these associations in other programs across the curriculum, with the view to improving student satisfaction the overall university experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOur university, our future
Subtitle of host publicationselected research from Learning and Teaching Week 2013
EditorsTheresa Winchester-Seeto, Elizabeth Shoostovian, Vanessa Fredericks
Place of PublicationNorth Ryde, NSW
PublisherMacquarie University
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781741384024
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventOur University, Our Future : Celebrating Learning and Teaching 2013 - North Ryde, NSW
Duration: 16 Sept 201320 Sept 2013


ConferenceOur University, Our Future : Celebrating Learning and Teaching 2013
CityNorth Ryde, NSW


  • student satisfaction
  • work integrated learning (WIL)
  • industry engagement
  • higher education
  • employability skills


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