Following an extensive review and consultation it is suggested that the following five principles describe the core characteristics of Inclusive Work Integrated Learning.
Inclusive WIL ……
- enables all students to have access to quality WIL
- encourages awareness, respect and valuing of diversity
- is practicable, workable and sustainable in different stakeholder contexts
- takes a holistic view of students’ lives including their WIL experiences
- is proactive and collaborative
Explanation of Principles
1. Enables all students to have access to quality WIL
It is imperative that all students have the opportunity to participate in WIL irrespective of their personal circumstances, background, financial or other situations. Students must be able to fully participate and gain benefit from WIL experiences. These experiences will not be the same for all students but they must be afforded equal opportunity to learn, develop skills and meet course requirements and pursue and fulfil their aspirations. All aspects of WIL including institutional policies, practices, design and delivery of WIL must enable and enhance access, participation and progression of all students.
2. Encourages awareness, respect and valuing of diversity
Awareness, respect and valuing of diversity must underpin inclusive WIL, and be reflected in policies, practices, design and delivery. It is important that students and all other partners value and engage with diversity. Inclusive WIL recognizes and respects students’ individuality, unique knowledge, experiences, capabilities and expectations.
3. Is practicable, workable and sustainable in different stakeholder contexts
Inclusive WIL is underpinned by policies, practices, design and delivery that ensure these experiences accommodate the requirements of all partners in practical and workable ways. Inclusive WIL must actively enhance the experience of partners and look to long-term sustainability by taking into account aspects such as context and disciplinary/professional requirements, time, workload, costs, resourcing, needs and preferences of partners.
4. Takes a holistic view of students’ lives including their WIL experiences
Policies, practices, design and delivery of WIL needs to take into account all aspects of students’ lives and circumstances, and the implications for WIL activities. Taking a holistic view of students and their lives will ensure enablers for success are identified and maximised, and barriers minimised. Inclusive WIL ensures that activities ‘work with’ students, their circumstances and needs.
5. Is proactive and collaborative
This involves planning ahead and putting in place processes and practices to identify the needs and potential difficulties for partners (physical, emotional, financial, reputational etc) and seeks solutions to ensure positive outcomes. Collaborative relationships between universities and partners are essential for ensuring a supportive learning environment for students and a quality, mutually beneficial WIL experience.