Work-Integrated Learning and International Students: The value of Experience
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The Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP) was established at Griffith University in 1993 to enable engineering honours students to complete a thesis based on an industry project, and to provide all final year students with a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience. Since its inception, the IAP has facilitated in excess of 1000 placements, including mandatory placements for civil, electronic, coastal and environmental engineering students, and elective placements for students in science, information technology and multimedia disciplines. As the reputation of Griffith's WIL expertise grows in Australia, so too does its international following. Offering some of the more robust project-based learning experiences, Griffith University has become the first choice for many international students seeking to enhance their workplace readiness. Research indicates that for many multinational companies, the global skills shortage has made it difficult to attract competent workers to some international locations. They cite poor business acumen and little real-world experience as serious shortcomings in the domestic pool of applicants. However, with programs such as Griffith's IAP, there may be opportunities for Australian tertiary institutions to work with these organisations to produce graduates who possess the desired attributes. This paper examines the long-term implications and opportunities for international partnerships between Australian universities, international students and multinational organisations, including internationally recognised qualifications for overseas program participants. Case studies are discussed which highlight the successes of international students who have participated in Griffith's IAP, and industry data is presented to demonstrate the significance of business skills acquired through a project-based WIL experience
The WACE/ACEN Asia Pacific Conference 2008 E-Proceedings
© 2008 ACEN. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version.
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