Key findings from ACEN Member Survey 2018

Conducted in November/December 2018

There were 204 responses in total, 33% from NSW/ACT, 29% from VIC/TAS, 18% from QLD, 10% from SA/NT, and 8% from WA. Of those responding, 37% were academics, 35% were professional staff, and 27% worked in careers, as a head of unit/discipline or other types of roles. Fifty nine per cent of respondents had more than 5 years’ experience in working with, or learning about, WIL.

Respondents’ key interests spanned, almost equally, the following areas: traditional models of WIL (placements/practicums/internships) (17%), industry/community engagement (16%), collaboration between WIL practitioners/researchers/professionals (15%), careers and employability (15%), networking within and between institutions (13%), non-placement activities (12%), and research opportunities (11%).

Responding members were generally very positive about the activities they had engaged in through ACEN with between 65% and 80% finding the following either very beneficial or beneficial: biennial conference, state-level events, national webinars, website resources (including case studies), monthly newsletter and networking.

At the state-level, responding members were most keen to participate in workshops, followed by presentations, research forums/symposiums and expert panels. Almost all respondents indicated that they would like to attend between 1 and 4 events each year. Responses did not vary significantly by State.

Members generally found the newsletter useful with suggestions for improvement largely focused on formatting and presentation.

Regarding advocacy, some suggested ACEN should be actively engaging more with senior leadership at universities, certain government departments and industry. Also, some felt ACEN could be more focused on demonstrating the success of WIL in ways the government understands and values (including gathering data from members to lobby change). The development of national standards, more promotion of WIL in the media, greater connection with peak and other relevant bodies and high schools were also raised.

Broader suggestions for improvement included greater industry involvement at events, a review of individual membership costs, facilitating more face-to-face, online and regional, state-based activities which people from different states (where possible) can access and more professional development opportunities for professional staff.

Finally, some suggested broadening membership to those working in schools and the vocational education sector and there was interest in a national, online community space for sharing good practice and research purposes.