WIL Resources

WIL Resources

Case studies

This section describes and shares quality, innovative WIL practice using case studies about a diversity of disciplines, models and methods. Case studies


ACEN webinars focus on current issues and recent research and are generally recorded and those recordings made available soon after the event. Webinars

Good practice guides

The projects define WIL and validate characteristics of a quality WIL curriculum which ensures opportunities for students to experience highly authentic experiences. Good practice guides


This section provides useful documents for use with and by industry, including sample documents and good practice guides. Industry


Complete proceedings of all ACEN conferences are available here. Conferences


Research reports. Reports


Links to other organisations and useful resources. Links

Creating sustainable WIL programs with WIL in Science – webinar

Creating sustainable WIL programs with WIL in Science – webinar

Date: 31 August 11:00am-12:30pm (AEST) Hosted by: Dr Michael Whelan, Southern Cross University WIL in Science is a program to build WIL experiences in Australian science degrees. The program reaches into all Science Faculties through the Australian Council of Deans of Science and includes peer networks, case studies, and a growing online resource, the WIL Guide for Science. This webinar will present experiences in creating effective WIL leadership and recent research from the program into student engagement.

Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Deakin University

Presenter: Professor Elizabeth Johnson

Biography: Prof Elizabeth Johnson is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning at Deakin University and is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre of the Australian Council of Deans of Science. Liz has worked on curriculum design and teaching practice in biochemistry, quantitative skills and the scientific inquiry as well as in leadership development projects, and has a keen interest in graduate employability. At Deakin University, Liz leads Deakin Learning Futures which delivers Deakin’s online learning environment and supports course development and building staff capability for learning and teaching. Liz has led whole-of-institution curriculum reform projects at Deakin University and La Trobe University and is currently leading a national project on work-integrated learning in science faculties funded through the Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia.

Not able to make it?

The webinar will be recorded and the link published in the newsletter.

Graduate Research Policy and Impact Officer

Graduate Research Policy and Impact Officer

University of South Australia, Adelaide

Seeking an outstanding and dynamic individual to join the Graduate Research Development team based in the Research and Innovation Services (Mawson Lakes campus)

Accelerate your strategic experience in an innovative research-connected environment

Salary range: $85,467 – $96,150 per annum + 17% super + leave loading

For the full position description and to apply please visit the website.

‘Service Learning and the Sciences’

‘Service Learning and the Sciences’

Service Learning and the Sciences

In person or by livestream!

You are invited to be part of a special event examining what Service Learning and the Sciences looks like in Australia.

Featuring a Keynote presentation by Professor Deborah Boege-Tobin of the University of Alaska, and joined by video link by colleagues from Cornell University in the US, this session involves a transdisciplinary panel of science experts. Researchers from Cornell University, Griffith University and the University of Queensland will delve into discussions on the rapidly expanding area of Service Learning and the Sciences within Australia.

Attendees will have a chance to engage in interactive conversations between specialists in Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Marine Biology, Biomedicine, Environmental Science, and Aviation and Engineering, highlighting how Service Learning provides disparate science disciplines with the opportunity to engage in impactful community engagement and research.

Keynote presentation by Professor Deborah Boege-Tobin

Prof Boege-Tobin will talk about the importance and impact of community engagement and share her experience delivering a Service Learning Program at the University of Alaska. In The Semester by the Bay program students not only engage with partners to thoroughly learn the techniques and equipment required for undertaking real scientific research, but also hone their scientific communication skills by presenting their projects to the greater community. Prof Boege-Tobin’s experiential education framework with trained critical examination, the building of skill sets, and reflection will be discussed as a meaningful way to enhance pedagogy.

Presented by Griffith University Service Learning

Tuesday 28 May, 2019 10.00 am – 1.00 pm AEST

Nathan campus, Central Theatres, Lecture Theatre 2 1.02 (N18), Nathan campus

Includes morning tea and tea/coffee on arrival.


Professor Deborah Boege-Tobin

Professor Deborah Boege-Tobin

University of Alaska

Deborah Boege-Tobin’s work as a professor of biological sciences focuses on undergraduate research and experiential education primarily in marine biology, training students and citizen scientists to record and analyse key aspects of animal behaviour, using tools of the trade, to better understand marine mammals.

Associate Professor Chris Schaffer

Associate Professor Chris Schaffer

Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University

Chris B. Schaffer is an associate professor in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University. He received his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University, where he worked with Eric Mazur.

Dr Richard Kiely

Dr Richard Kiely

Senior Fellow, Office of Engagement Initiatives, Cornell University

In 2002, Richard received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. In 2005, he was recognised 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).


Professor Fran Sheldon

Professor Fran Sheldon

Griffith University

Professor Fran Sheldon is currently the Dean (Learning & Teaching) in Griffith Sciences and a member of the Australian Rivers Institute.

Professor Susan Rowland

Professor Susan Rowland

University of Queensland

Susan is a teaching-focused academic in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland and is Deputy Associate Dean Academic (Future Students and Employability) for the Faculty of Science.

Dr Deanne Skelly

Dr Deanne Skelly

Griffith University

Dr Deanne Skelly is currently the Deputy Dean (Learning & Teaching) in Griffith Sciences.

 Associate Professor Niru Nirthanan

Associate Professor Niru Nirthanan

Griffith University

Associate Professor Niru Nirthanan is Program Director, Biomedical Science in Griffith Health.

‘Research and Scholarship in WIL’ – symposium

‘Research and Scholarship in WIL’ – symposium

Presented by Griffith University Service Learning

Join us for an interactive symposium to facilitate discussions and identify opportunities for research and scholarship in work-integrated learning (WIL).

In person or by livestream!

Work-integrated learning (WIL) is a powerful pedagogy that transcends the traditional boundaries of academic work and deeply embeds the university into the community. Despite this, it is still not clear how best to put WIL to work in a research environment. Ideally, university teaching and learning should be informed by scholarship and research, but these represent significantly under-utilised and under-explored areas in WIL.

This symposium will explore the relationship between work-integrated education (WIE) and work-integrated learning (WIL), and research and scholarship from a range of perspectives.

Tuesday 28 May • 1.30 pm – 3.30 pm AEST

Nathan Campus, Central Theatres, Lecture Theatre 2 1.02 (N18) Map


Professor Stephen Billett

Professor Stephen Billett

Griffith University

Professor Stephen Billett is from the School of Education and Professional Studies. He is internationally-renowned for his research on learning through and for work, and will offer perspectives on developing occupational and workplace capacities.

Professor Ruth Bridgstock

Professor Ruth Bridgstock

Griffith University

Professor Ruth Bridgstock is Deputy Director, Curriculum Transformation in Learning Futures. She has research expertise in higher education learning & teaching and graduate employability, including evaluating WIL outcomes.

Dr Karsten Zegwaard

Dr Karsten Zegwaard

University of Waikato

Dr Karsten Zegwaard is the Director of Cooperative Education at the University of Waikato.

He is also the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Work-integrated Learning.

Professor Jacqueline Ewart

Professor Jacqueline Ewart

Griffith University

Professor Jacqueline Ewart is from the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science. She will offer perspectives in WIL in the context of a particular discipline (journalism).

Research Conversations

Research Conversations

The ACEN NSW/ACT Chapter and ACEN National Research and Scholarship sub-committee invites you to join us in WIL Research Conversations! This is a friendly, informal gathering of like-minded practitioners and scholars interested in furthering our knowledge of WIL scholarship, research and practice. The group aims to meet face-to-face through Zoom (similar to Skype), to discuss thoughts, insights and practical applications related to a nominated WIL journal article or topic.


May 2019 Quality in WIL

In this session, Dr Theresa Winchester-Seeto will be joining us to spark conversation around quality in WIL programs. This discussion will be driven by the recently released Australian Council of Deans of Science report titled “Quality and Standards for Work integrated Learning” (Winchester-Seeto, 2019).

Friday, 31 May

12pm – 1pm (AEST)

June 2019 Research Methods 1: Methodologies

Dr Jenny Fleming is our guest speaker this session, discussing methodologies in WIL from her recent paper in IJWIL titled “Methodologies, methods and ethical considerations for conducting research in work-integrated Learning’ (Fleming & Zegwaard, 2018).

Friday, 28 June

12pm – 1pm (AEST)

July 2019 Research Methods 2: Qualitative Analysis Workshop

In this workshop, Dr Anna Rowe and Dr Theresa Winchester-Seeto will take us through some practical advice and tips for analysing qualitative data through NViVo.

Friday, 26 July

12pm – 1pm (AEST)


Anyone can participate! Any ACEN member in Australasia can join us.

Registration: https://forms.gle/FxRrudeA7xgJSCRV8

Please note that places are limited. Participants will be sent an email prior to the session to confirm their attendance. This email will contain a copy of the article to be reviewed and details of how to join the session.


For any questions, please contact Dr Bonnie Dean, University of Wollongong bonnie_dean@uow.edu.au

We look forward to meeting you, sharing ideas and learning from one another!

New IJWIL articles published

New IJWIL articles published

New IJWIL articles published!

The International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning has published new articles:

  • David W. Drewery, Lauren A. Cormier, T. Judene Pretti, Dana Church: Improving unmatched co-op students’ emotional wellbeing: Test of two brief interventions
  • Marina Harvey, Greg Walkerden, Anne-Louise Semple, Kath McLachlan, Kate Lloyd: What we can learn from the iReflect project: Developing a mobile app for reflection in work-integrated learning
  • Elena Lisá, Katarína Hennelová, Denisa Newman: Comparison between employers’ and students’ expectations in respect of employability skills of university graduates
  • Craig Cameron, Christine Dodds, Cynthia Maclean: Ethical risks in work-integrated learning: A study of Canadian practitioners
These can now be viewed from https://www.ijwil.org.
Community Engagement Coordinator UTS Shopfront

Community Engagement Coordinator UTS Shopfront

UTS Shopfront at the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion, University of Technology Sydney, is hiring a Community Engagement Coordinator (Level 7). They’ll manage internal and external partnerships to deliver multiple, pro bono, community projects across all UTS Faculties working with a small, friendly team as part of UTS’s international award-winning community engagement program.

Applications close 16 May.


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 

E: s.ferns@curtin.edu.au 

Dr Anna Rowe

UNSW Sydney

T: +61 (2) 9385 9136

M: 0400390289

E: a.rowe@unsw.edu.au

Dr Karsten Zegwaard

University of Waikato

T: +64 7 838 4892

M: +64 27 44 55 686

E: karsten.zegwaard@waikato.ac.nz

Administrative and Editorial Support:

Kristy Harper

M: 0405 806 991

E: kristy@masterlyconsulting.com.au 

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 the higher education sector and reflect the commitment of universities to improving graduate employability.

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