Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is an essential component of higher education, enabling students to gain practical experience and develop industry-relevant skills while still in school. Through WIL, students can participate in internships, co-op programs, and other work experiences that supplement their classroom learning.
At the University of New South Wales (UNSW), students can participate in WIL through a Work Integrated Learning Agreement (WILA). The WILA is a contractual agreement between the student, the employer, and UNSW that outlines the terms and conditions of the work experience. The agreement is designed to ensure that the experience meets the academic requirements of the program and provides valuable learning outcomes for the student.
The WILA process begins with the student identifying a potential work placement and discussing it with their academic advisor. The advisor will review the placement and determine if it aligns with the academic goals of the program. Once approved, the student will work with the employer to negotiate the terms of the placement, including the scope of work, hours, and compensation.
Once the terms of the placement have been agreed upon, the student and employer sign the WILA, which outlines the learning outcomes, provides a timeline for the placement, and specifies the academic requirements for the program. The WILA is also reviewed by UNSW to ensure that it meets the academic standards of the program.
Throughout the placement, the student is supervised by both the employer and UNSW to ensure that the learning outcomes are being met. The student is also required to complete reflective assessments to document their learning and progress. At the end of the placement, the student receives academic credit for their work experience.
Participating in WIL through a WILA can provide many benefits to students. They can gain valuable experience in their chosen field, make industry connections, and improve their employability after graduation. Employers also benefit from WIL placements, as they can identify and train potential future employees and contribute to the development of the next generation of workers in their industry.
In conclusion, the Work Integrated Learning Agreement at UNSW is an important tool for students looking to gain practical experience in their chosen field while still in school. The WILA process ensures that the placement meets academic requirements and provides valuable learning outcomes for the student. Through WIL, students can gain experience, make industry connections, and increase their employability after graduation. Employers also benefit from WIL placements by identifying and training potential future employees and contributing to the development of the workforce in their industry.