Webinar – Reconceptualising and implementing WIL for the HDR experience – pedagogy, practice and policy

Work Integrated learning (WIL) has traditionally been found almost exclusively in coursework degrees. However, due to the changing nature of the research training landscape in Australia and the introduction of HEIMS reporting in 2018, universities are increasingly focusing on introducing WIL in higher degrees by research (HDR) i.e. MPhil, PhD and Professional Doctorate. Due to this changing landscape, QUT has redesigned its research degrees and research training programs to include industry engagement opportunities for students with a capstone WIL internship program based on developing and evidencing identified key employability skills and capabilities gained throughout their HDR.

While QUT has an award-winning university wide WIL framework, implementing these changes was not without challenges, both administratively and academically. This webinar examines the benefits and challenges of implementing a university wide centrally run program, navigating relationships with federally funded third party providers, system challenges, and the adjustments that were required for QUT’s existing WIL framework.

This presentation will showcase the pedagogical importance of the program for augmenting the research experience and employability of HDR students and will highlight the ongoing and broader benefits it brings to industry, academics and existing WIL practices. It will cover the implementation of a new program into a course landscape that has never considered or valued a WIL experience and how an HDR best practice WIL model should include integration with a variety of stakeholders. Beyond the practical aspects of how we have implemented a whole of degree HDR WIL program, the benefits of how this innovation has helped us to reconceptualise WIL for the development of future capabilities will also be discussed, including the potential implications for the use of WIL in coursework degrees.

Delivered by

Katherine Theobald

Katherine Theobald

HDR Partnership Officer, Graduate Research Education & Development (GRE+D), QUT

Katherine Theobald has been instrumental in designing, implementing and running QUT’s HDR Internship program, within the internationally renowned Graduate Research Education and Development (GRE+D) framework. Her role is one of the first to consider a centrally driven cross-disciplinary approach to industry engagement for HDR students in Australia.

Prior to joining GRE+D, Katherine came to the HDR WIL space after several years supporting WIL activities across QUT’s Faculty of Health. She chairs the National HDR WIL Community of Practice and has been a member of ACEN and on the Executive committee of NAFEA since 2015, where she created the organisation’s student scholarship program. She is passionate about advancing WIL as a pedagogy in both the coursework and graduate research arenas, with a particular focus on creating inclusive and equitable WIL for transformative experiences for students.

The webinar was presented on November 7, 2019