Work-integrated learning and the 'inclusive' challenge of preparing a diverse student cohort for the world beyond the academy

Jacqueline Mackaway, Theresa Winchester-Seeto, Leanne Carter

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


Universities are making increasing use of work-integrated learning (WIL) to meet the demands of government and industry for more and better educated graduates. More recently concerns regarding inclusive practice in WIL have been raised, with questions asked as to whether all students can access and successfully participate in this type of learning. This paper presents findings from a study in one Australian university, which sought to better understand which students are potentially disadvantaged by the placement model of WIL, how disadvantage is experienced by the involved stakeholders (students, host supervisors, academics and professional staff), and what can be done to enable better access and participation in WIL. Findings reveal a variety of multifaceted, and often 'invisible', student-centered factors which have significant influence over which students are at risk in terms of exclusion from placements, and how the experience of access and equity manifests itself for each of the stakeholders. The study suggests a range of strategies utilised by stakeholders to address the challenge of finding a placement for all students, and also draws attention to the 'wicked problems' which further complicate issues of access and equity in WIL.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch and development in higher education
Subtitle of host publicationhigher education in a globalized world
EditorsA. Kwan, E. Wong, T. Kwong, P. Lau, A. Goody
Place of PublicationMilperra, NSW
PublisherHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780908557967
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventHERDSA Annual International Conference (37th : 2014) - Hong Kong
Duration: 7 Jul 201410 Jul 2014

Publication series

NameResearch and Development in Higher Education Series
PublisherHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Inc
ISSN (Electronic)1441-001X


ConferenceHERDSA Annual International Conference (37th : 2014)
CityHong Kong


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