Taking the pulse of work-integrated learning in Canada
In April 2015, the Business Council of Canada established the Business/ Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), a national forum comprising 27 leaders from business, universities, colleges and polytechnics. BHER works to support young Canadians as they transition from education to the workplace, strengthen research collaboration between industry and institutions, and help Canadian employers as they adapt to the economy of the future. The Roundtable identified two priority initiatives with the following goals: Help young Canadians make the transition from school to work through collaborative partnerships between the business community and post-secondary institutions and promoting practice-based learning opportunities for students; Strengthen research, development and innovation partnerships between Canadian companies and post-secondary institutions. The Roundtable has engaged Academica Group, a higher education consultancy, to examine: The scope of work-integrated learning available at post-secondary institutions in Canada; The extent to which post-secondary students participate in workrelated programs; Best practices in the design and implementation of work-integrated learning programs. This report reviews the extensive academic research on these topics. It outlines numerous challenges that have emerged in the field of workintegrated learning in Canada. It also identifies a number of practices and recommendations that could alleviate these concerns and promote a highquality, high-value experience for students.