Internationalising work-integrated learning: creating global citizens to meet the economic crisis and the skills shortage
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Research indicates that for many multinational companies, the global skills shortage has made it difficult to attract competent workers to some international locations. In developing economies, business leaders often cite poor business acumen and little real-world experience as serious shortcomings in the domestic pool of applicants. In addition to the skills shortage, businesses are currently confronting a global economic crisis, which has seen many economies slump into recession. Despite this economic downturn, Australia has continued to thrive as a destination of choice for international students. As the reputation of Australia's work-integrated learning (WIL) expertise grows, so too does its international following. Offering some of the more robust project-based learning experiences, Australian universities have become the first choice for many international students seeking to enhance their workplace readiness. Two Australian institutions attracting attention for their approaches to WIL are Griffith University, with its flagship Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP), and Queensland University of Technology (QUT), which has funded an in-depth learning and teaching project designed to facilitate the embedding of authentic real-world learning experiences across the entire curriculum. This paper uses a case study approach to highlight the experiences of Griffith University's IAP students and considers QUT's current research projects. It also explores the implications for Australian tertiary institutions seeking to work with organisations to produce graduates who can respond to the changing economic circumstances and who can add value to global organisations in periods of uncertainty.
Higher Education Research & Development
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified