Work-Integrated learning is “learning by doing” and is designed to help students to develop a better understanding of their future career path, personal and professional direction. It gives students opportunities to apply the theories being learnt in the academic classroom in an actual workplace.
Development of generic capabilities takes time. May it need all 3 years of the undergraduate degree to develop students’ generic capabilities? Hence students need support to learn the capabilities in structured manner during the early years of study to enable learner to gradually build confidence. As they move from their first to final year, support is removed, activities become less structured but the cognitive processes developed should remain, enabling students to apply what they have learnt to new problems in new and relevant contexts.
Can academic and industry work together and offer degree programs with a component of work integrated learning?
Offer university the learning environment and the student can select this as elective. Students should be offered assessments to pick their electives. This will provide the ability to get work experience in the student’s field of study. Let us remember that a major frustration among students is the difficulty of finding work related to their field of study and their passion.
Invest efforts to structure work programs explicitly linked to the field of study that also meet study credit requirements, would improve student motivation, and build future productivity and skills enhancement substantially.
In an increasingly competitive job market, experience in the workplace is an invaluable asset to graduates. WIL provides an opportunity for students to apply the theoretical knowledge learnt in the classroom to the world of work. The students can develop practice and consolidate their skills and develop a deeper understanding of their chosen profession.
A formal system of student participation in work-based learning would increase graduates’ work-readiness. How to arrive at a scalable program to provide valuable experience before they graduate from university? Can they perform knowledge transfer for jobs in areas of finance and accounting, banking and insurance?