Seeking authors: Theories, Practices, Research

Seeking authors: Theories, Practices, Research

‘Theories, Practices and Research in Work-integrated learning in Australia:
Enhancing employability capabilities for a sustainable future’

Seeking authors

ACEN is seeking Expressions of Interest from authors to write a chapter for the publication Theories, Practices and Research in Work-integrated learning in Australia: Enhancing employability capabilities for a sustainable future (edited by Sonia Ferns, Anna Rowe and Karsten Zegwaard).

The book is a peer-reviewed collection of scholarly chapters from researchers, practitioners and experts in WIL. All chapters must be informed by the latest cutting-edge research and written in language accessible to a wide audience.


The objectives of this publication are to:

  • reflect on the work done so far;
  • critically discuss leading views of the area; and
  • make recommendations to guide future research and practice.

The publication aims to:

  • raise the profile of WIL;
  • review, critique and integrate existing research and scholarship; and
  • offer recommendations for future work.

Key themes include diversity, sustainability, innovation, economic well-being and employability.

You can contribute

To contribute to the book, please submit an Expression of Interest here by 31 May 2019.

Expressions of Interest will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Author/s commitment to, and experience in WIL.
  • Focus, cohesiveness and sequence of narrative.
  • Advances WIL research and scholarship.
  • Proposes a clear framework.
  • Aligns with the aim of the book.
  • Writing is of a high academic standard.
  • Informs future directions of WIL.

Other details

  • Chapters will be more competitive if several EOI’s are received.
  • As part of the peer-review process each contributing author is required to review 1-2 chapter submissions in October 2019.
  • The project team is in the process of securing a publisher.
  • If expressing interest in more than one chapter, please complete one EOI per chapter.

Key target dates

  • Expressions of Interest due 31st May 2019
  • Contributing authors confirmed – June 2019
  • Authors prepare chapter – June 2019 to October 2019
  • Peer review process commences – October 2019
  • Initial chapter peer reviews complete and feedback provided to authors – December 2019
  • Reviewed chapters resubmitted – February 2020
  • Production Phase – February to April 2020

Word Count

3500-4000 words per chapter.

For more information

Please contact the editorial team:

Dr Sonia Ferns

Curtin University

T: +61 8 9266 2435 

M: 0418902250 


Dr Anna Rowe

UNSW Sydney

T: +61 (2) 9385 9136

M: 0400390289


Dr Karsten Zegwaard

University of Waikato

T: +64 7 838 4892

M: +64 27 44 55 686


Administrative and Editorial Support:

Kristy Harper

M: 0405 806 991


UA National WIL Survey

UA National WIL Survey

Over the past few years, universities have increased support to employers so they can involve students in their organisation. Employers are also increasing and strengthening their links with universities through work placements and project work, which demonstrates that they are recognising the many benefits of WIL.

One of the ways that partnerships between universities and employers have been strengthened is through the development of the 2015 National Strategy on Work Integrated Learning in University Education. Universities Australia, the Australian Collaborative Education Network, AiGroup, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Business Council of Australia, the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training and the Office of the Chief Scientist partnered on this Strategy to facilitate deeper connections between universities and employers and to promote the benefits of WIL for all stakeholders.

One of the strategy’s actions is to develop a national profile of current WIL activity in the higher education sector, measuring the level of participation in WIL by students enrolled in Australia’s universities. In 2018, Universities Australia (UA) undertook a national survey of the WIL activities that occurred in 2017 across Australia’s 39 comprehensive universities. The survey is the first data collection of its kind, and the survey results provide the higher education sector with a baseline from which to measure progress. The results clearly demonstrate the extent and diversity of WIL activities across

Some figures from the survey

In 2017, 451,263 students had a WIL experience. This equates to one in three university students enrolled in Australia in 2017. Of the total number of students who undertook a WIL experience in 2017, 104,140 had more than one WIL experience during the year. This made a total of 555,403 WIL activities in 2017.

The most common type of WIL in universities was a placement, accounting for 43 per cent of the total WIL activity in 2017. This can be partially explained by placements that are integrated into specific degree programs because they are mandatory for registration in professions such as teaching, medicine and nursing.

Although a work placement is the most common type of WIL activity, universities are moving beyond this historical approach to WIL to offer opportunities such as projects, simulations and fieldwork amounting to 11.2 per cent of the total WIL activities undertaken by university students in 2017.

Despite the assumption that participation in WIL is restricted to undergraduate students, students from across all levels of learning at university were actively engaged in WIL activities.

The diversity in types of WIL activity reflects the considerable range of relationships between universities and employers. Institutions are partnering with organisations – both domestically and internationally – in a multitude of ways to ensure that the WIL experiences offered to students are dynamic, meaningful and opportune.

Reforming Post-Secondary Education

Reforming Post-Secondary Education

Executive summary

This paper has been prepared by the Vice-Chancellors of Australia’s dual sector universities as a contribution to discussion about the future shape of post-secondary education in Australia. The paper draws on the unique role and the long and varied experience of dual sector universities in providing programs across the full range of AQF qualifications and more broadly in meeting industry, learner and community needs.

The 2008 Review of Australian Higher Education (Bradley Review) proposed a broader tertiary education system which recognised that ‘although distinct sectors are important, it is also vital that there should be better connections across tertiary education and training to meet economic and social needs which are dynamic and not readily defined by sectoral boundaries.’

Despite the Bradley Review proposals, connections between the higher education and VET systems have – if anything – weakened as differences between the systems in governance, funding andregulation have become entrenched. Enrolments in higher education have grown rapidly (although funding has now been capped) while VET enrolments in publicly funded courses are lower than they were a decade ago as public investment in VET has declined.

Several major recent reports have revisited the Bradley proposals for a more connected tertiary education system. Some have gone further and argued for a single integrated system.

Australia’s dual sector universities are the only public institutions with a mandated role to operate across the full continuum of AQF qualifications in meeting the needs of the communities and industries they serve.

This report highlights the significant benefits available to learners, communities and industries when the capability of dual sector universities is realised through connected programs and student centred pathways. However, it also highlights how differences between the systems inhibit and frustrate the full realisation of the capability of dual sector universities and connections and pathways between higher education and VET more generally.

Proposals to develop a more coherent and integrated single tertiary education system have substantial merit but carry risks in terms of the cost and complexity of system integration and the loss of differentiation and diversity. They are also not likely to be agreed by the states and territories in relation to their roles in VET.

An alternative approach, based on the experience of the dual sector universities, is to retain the key characteristics and distinctive contributions of the current systems, to strengthen each system (particularly VET) where required, better connect the systems through a determined focus on student pathways and to carefully redress distortions between the systems created by anomalies and inconsistencies in funding.

This could be achieved through an overarching policy framework for the provision of post-secondary education in Australia agreed through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), underpinned by a set of common policy principles to guide the individual and collective development of the systems.

The common policy principles proposed in this paper are:

  • Universal access for young people and lifelong learning for adults
  • New and continuing learners make informed decisions
  • Stronger, distinctive but better-connected systems
  • Assessment and skills recognition support learner’s access and progress
  • Funding is demand driven, system neutral and priced to meet diverse needs
  • Learning and work are integrated.

Based on the experience of the dual sector universities a set of achievable and practical reforms that would strengthen and also better connect the two systems under a common policy framework are:

  • Reforms to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), particularly to support learner centred pathways across the continuum of AQF qualifications
  • Modernising VET qualifications and their development to focus competencies on broad and future skills requirements
  • A coherent funding framework for higher education and VET, spanning the roles of the Commonwealth and states and territories
  • Extending work-based learning including apprenticeships into new industries and occupations in both VET and higher education through partnerships with firms, industries and the labour movement.
Case studies QA session

Case studies QA session

Our case studies include material that will inspire, inform and assist WIL practitioners and you can share your experience and ideas.

Join this QA session with Anna Rowe, ACEN Board member responsible for case studies, and Ceri McLeod, who deals directly with submissions, who will provide an opportunity you

  • discuss the criteria
  • understand what information is required and
  • the process of preparation and submission.

It’s a chance to ask questions, check your understanding of the criteria and explore the possibilities.

June 26, 2019 12 noon AEST by Zoom

Also remember that at the ACEN Conference an Excellence in WIL case study is recognised with an award.

More about the award

See 2018 award winning case studies.

See previous case studies


Sydney University vacancy

Sydney University vacancy

Head of School and Dean, School of Health Sciences

The University of Sydney is seeking to appoint a distinguished academic as Head of School and Dean, Sydney School of Health Sciences, who will join the leadership team of the Faculty of Medicine Health. The school consists of six professions, five research groups and three research centres. The school provides professional preparation programs for a comprehensive range of health science professionals, as well as majors in health science and disability. Applications close on Sunday 5 May 2019


Service Learning Summit

Service Learning Summit

We are pleased to announce that Griffith University will host a SERVICE-LEARNING SUMMIT from 13-15 November, 2019 at its Gold Coast campus. We have secured an excellent Keynote speaker and workshop presenter, Dr Richard Kiely. See brief information on his expertise below. 

The Summit will explore a range of topics within SL and have a refreshing and innovative format that will ensure you gain maximum benefit from attending whether you are new to the concept of SL, or are looking for more of a masterclass experience.  We will provide details of cost shortly.  In line with the nature of SL, we are planning to use social enterprises for catering and keep the cost for participants as low as possible.

To be sure you secure a place at the Summit, please lodge your interest here:  

Introducing Dr Richard Kiely

Dr Richard KielyDr Richard Kiely currently serves as a senior fellow in the Office of Engagement Initiatives (OEI) in Cornell University’s Office of Engagement Initiatives.

In 2005, he was recognized nationally as a John Glenn Scholar in Service-Learning for his longitudinal research that led to the development of a transformative service-learning model (See Kiely, 2004, 2005, 2011). He served as the co-editor of the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning for two special sections on global service-learning (2014/2015) and recently completed a co-authored book Community-Based Global Learning: The Theory and Practice of Ethical Engagement at Home and Abroad (2018).

He is the co-founder of a community-driven global service-learning (GSL) partnership in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, which will be entering its 25th year in 2019 and co-founder of, a multi-institutional hub supporting ethical global learning and community-campus partnerships.