Work Integrated Learning - Academic Policy

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Work Integrated Learning - Academic Policy


Approval authority
Academic Board
Responsible officer
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Designated officer
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students)
First approved
31 March 2015
Last amended
19 November 2015
Effective start date
15 April 2015
Review date
31 March 2020
Related documents
Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs - Procedures
Equity and Diversity - Governing Policy
Students with a Disability - Managerial Policy
Workplace and Industry Placement - Procedures
Related legislation / standards
Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Act 2011
Australian Qualifications Framework
Fair Work Act 2009 (Cwlth)
Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015
National Code of Practice Providers of Education & Training Overseas Students 2018
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1. Purpose of policy

The University recognises work integrated learning (WIL) as a purposeful, organised, supervised and assessed educational activity required for the completion of a program/course that integrates theoretical learning with its applications in the workplace.

The purpose of this policy is to provide the framework to support and embed work integrated learning into the curriculum at the University.

2. Scope and application of policy

This policy applies to all staff, students and industry partners, professional and community organisations involved in work integrated learning at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The policy does not apply to work experience, which means extra-curricular work undertaken by a student that is not formally assessed and that takes place in an industry or profession that is related to a student’s program. Demonstrated completion of work experience may be required in some programs.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of terms for policies and procedures.

4. Work integrated learning (WIL)

4.1 Work integrated learning (WIL) is an umbrella term for a range of approaches and strategies that integrate theory with the practice of work within a purposefully designed curriculum (as provided in The WIL Report by Carol-Joy Patrick et al 2009).

4.2 Within this definition the University recognises three categories of work integrated learning:

Workplace and industry PLACEMENT – immerses a student in a workplace related to their discipline or career goals. Ideally, placement combines both class-based learning and structured and supported workplace activity with opportunities to reflect on learning and seek timely feedback on performance. Examples include: Internships, work placements, practicums, clinical placements, work shadowing, supervised professional experience, co-operative education, cadetship, traineeship or service learning.

Workplace and industry COMPONENT – aspects or components of the workplace are applied to the learning situation of the student, thus integrating work-based experiences with University-based learning. Examples include: applied research projects, workshops, case studies, simulation-based learning, role plays, gaming, virtual business learning, project-based learning or work-related problem-solving projects.

Workplace and industry INTERACTIONS – interactions which take place to expose and engage students with work practices or with workplace or industry experts. Examples include: field trips, site visits, guests lecturers from industry, practical or work experience, or mentoring.

5. Purposes of work integrated learning

5.1 The University is committed to the provision of purposeful work integrated learning for all students.

5.2 Work integrated learning exposes students to the context and requirements of professional practice and provides students with the opportunity to:

  • develop an awareness of workplace culture and expectations
  • develop a practical appreciation of their chosen profession
  • develop competencies for professional practice
  • demonstrate competencies for professional practice

The University values community engagement through work integrated learning based partnerships with industry partners and professional and community organisations.

6. Context for work integrated learning

Work integrated learning is provided by the University consistent with requirements and guidelines contained within relevant legislation.

7. Managing risks associated with work integrated learning

Staff involved in work integrated learning seek to reduce risks associated with WIL through actions consistent with the University’s risk management framework including: utilising the University’s risk assessment software, establishing agreements with placement partners and students, student orientation to the WIL activity; accurate record keeping and regular supervision.

8. WIL and students requiring reasonable adjustment

8.1 The University makes reasonable adjustments to assist students to have equitable access to WIL, in accordance with the Equity and Diversity - Governing Policy and relevant Anti-Discrimination legislation.

8.2 Where workplace and industry placement is an inherent academic requirement or significant feature of the program/course, the needs of students who may require reasonable adjustment should be considered as part of the program’s curriculum design and accreditation.


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