Compulsory work-integrated learning: A solution for equity degree propositioning and future proofing

Elizabeth Bracken , Narelle Patton, Euan Lindsay

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Work-integrated learning (WIL) placement is increasingly being prioritized in university course curricula as industry, students and government seek improved employability skills, work-ready graduates and stronger graduate employability outcomes. For disciplines such as business, without industry accreditation mandating WIL placement experiences WIL placement are typically non-compulsory and administered through competitive or self-selection approaches which favor higher grade point average (GPA) and socioeconomic status (SES) students at the expense of less advantaged students. Despite well-documented benefits to multiple stakeholders, business schools’ reluctance to embrace compulsory WIL placement is underpinned by internal challenges of cost, supply, and implementation. The dynamics of business schools’ future sustainability is under threat by market disruptions, pandemic induced income and enrolment losses, and performance driven funding. Potentially the introduction of compulsory WIL placement could decrease existing discriminatory WIL placement practices and enhance student equity while delivering a powerful value proposition to combat future sustainability challenges.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Work-Integrated Learning
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)481-495
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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