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Work-integrated learning in Ontario’s postsecondary sector: The pathways of recent college and university graduates

The ICT disciplines in Australian universities have a strong tradition of industry engagement in curriculum design and implementation particularly through work integrated learning programs. Work integrated learning (WIL) includes industry placements, internships, industry projects and other methods and approaches that aim to enhance the professional practice capabilities of students. There are various stakeholders involved in WIL programs including universities, students, government and industry, each with their own motivations and expectations. Whilst all stakeholders agree on the benefits to students, there are conflicting interests that jeopardise further development and innovation in WIL. This paper reports on surveys of industry and university stakeholders in order to understand representative views and current practices. The findings confirm a lack of a shared understanding between stakeholders regarding roles, responsibilities, models and benefits. The paper concludes with several recommendations regarding the adoption of an outcomes-based approach to the design and implementation of work integrated learning programs that will encourage innovation and quality in WIL.