ACEN Research Grants announced

shutterstock_109092869-researchThe ACEN Research Scholarship and Professional Learning Sub-Committee selected three research grant winners for 2015 from a strong pool of 23 applications. Each grant is valaued at $10,000.

The successful proposals for 2015 were:

  • Project: Get engaged! Growing WIL through a workplace supervisor capacity building module
  • Project: Developing a framework for sustainable work-integrated learning (WIL) relationships
  • Project: Development of an online Work Integrated Learning (WIL) survey tool to measure, evaluate and enhance the quality of students’ WIL experiences

Awardees and project overviews

ACEN Student Scholarships awarded

Eight student scholarships, each worth $1,500, have been awarded to students from

  • Griffith University
  • Charles Sturt University
  • University of Sydney (2)
  • Queensland University of Technology (2)
  • University of Notre Dame Australia
  • University of Queensland

The 2015 ACEN Student Scholarships provide financial support for students undertaking a WIL placement in a regional or remote area of Australia as part of their university studies.

An analysis of the 500 plus applications for 2015 will be published at a later date.

ACEN Response to Draft National Strategy for International Education

draft-nat-education-strategy-coverThe ACEN Board has submitted a response to the Draft National Strategy for International Education. As has been clear for some time, strategies to enable international students enhanced access to WIL is urgently needed. The ACEN Board is pleased that the Federal government is stressing the importance of WIL in the International student experience.

Draft Strategy

ACEN response


summit design

Griffith University Service Learning Summit

October 1-2, 2015, Gold Coast


‘To give is to receive: true service-learning’

27-28 November 2015

The conference aims to showcase student service-learning projects and will focus on how these experiences have impacted on the students’ personal development and perhaps the lives of others.

You will also find out about the latest research and logistics of organising service-learning programs.

Combined with opportunities to network with fellow educators and share your experiences, we can work together to build school cultures of service learning.

Special guests ‘How Ridiculous’ on overcoming child poverty.

Register now:

More: Dr Glenda Cain Ph 08 9433 0174 or Associate Professor Shane Lavery  Ph 08 9433 0173

strategylogosUniversity and business leaders announce a comprehensive national WIL strategy

A National WIL Strategy has been developed by ACEN in collaboration with Universities Australia, Australian Chamber of Commerce (ACCI), Australian Industry Group (AIG ) and the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and has been released in Canberra at the Universities Australia conference. The strategy has been developed over the last 12 months after the signing of the Statement of intent last February. It provides a comprehensive national strategy to enhance and grow WIL in Australia.

The strategy focuses on approaches and actions based on findings from key research projects and is underpinned by strategies to strengthen partnerships between Universities and industry.

The ACEN board has been very involved in the development of the strategy and the ACEN Board has decided to align key initiatives for 2015 with this strategy.

National WIL Strategy (PDF)

WIL Statement of intent (PDF)

Media release (PDF)

Hear Belinda Robertson, Universities Australia on ABC RN Breakfast today, March 11 – second part of the interview

Daily Telegraph

Manufacturers’ Monthly

Facilitating student placements – FAQs for Higher Education institutions from FWO

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Office has developed the FAQ in response to numerous questions about student placements and when they should be paid or unpaid. It aims to provide clarity around such arrangements and help education institutions in ensuring any unpaid work experience arrangements their students engage in are lawful.


University of Newcastle Annual WIL Awards


Cover of the ‘hands on @ UON’ which was launched during the Awards ceremony

From dissecting cadavers in the University’s anatomy laboratory, teaching Indonesian children dental health, raising Indigenous awareness in the workplace, overcoming a crippling lack of resources to deliver obstetrics help in Nepal and coordinating multi-million dollar infrastructure projects, this year’s University of Newcastle WIL Awards highlighted some exceptional WIL activities undertaken by University of Newcastle staff and students.

More about the awardees, promotion and Hall of Fame inductee

2014 ACEN Conference - Gold Coast - Sep 29 to Oct 3, 20142014 Conference proceedings and memories

Keynote addressBridging Theory and Practice: The role of the educator in Work-Integrated Learning‘ by Professor David Thornton Moore, Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.

Proceedings – download the full set of presentations or individual papers, showcases or roundtables.

Dinner and the photoboothview booth highlights.

2014 Conference in picturescollages and digital story by Kylie Twyford, University of Newcastle.

Sonia Ferns at the launch of the new HERDSA Guide ‘Work Integrated Learning in the Curriculum’ – July 2014, Hong Kong HERDSA Conference

Sonia Ferns at the launch of the new HERDSA Guide – July 2014, Hong Kong HERDSA Conference

HERDSA Guide - Work Integrated Learning in the Curriculum, edited by Sonia FernsNew HERDSA Guide ‘Work Integrated Learning in the Curriculum’

Edited by Sonia Ferns (ACEN Board member)

This HERDSA Guide highlights the uniqueness of WIL and the opportunities and challenges it affords. The Guide provides insights into curriculum design, performance-based assessment, academic standards, risk management, institutional leadership, building staff capacity and evaluation strategies for WIL. The Guide offers a range of existing, new and emergent perspectives about WIL in a global context and provides useful information for practitioners and institutional leaders.

ACEN members will be able to purchase the Guide at the HERDSA member price (more details shortly).


Access, participation and progression in WILEnhance access, participation and progression in WIL

‘Building institutional capacity to enhance access, participation and progression in work integrated learning’ is an Office for Learning and Teaching project.

Successful WIL activities offer many benefits to students and can contribute to a sustainable workforce for future economic growth. Yet some students face barriers in gaining access to full engagement with such activities. The aim of this project is to translate inclusive education principles into the WIL context in order to improve student access, participation and progression. The project uses a strategic approach across four levels: principles, policies, guidelines, and processes to support students from diverse backgrounds in the disciplines of built environment, business and health.

More information and/or to make a contribution to the project

WIL-leadership-logoThe WIL Leadership Framework

The WIL Leadership Framework represents a multi-layered description of the capabilities employed by WIL leaders. These WIL capabilities have been integrated into five WIL leadership domains:

  • Shaping the WIL vision
  • Creating and sustaining WIL relationships
  • Fostering WIL engagement, expertise and student learning
  • Communicating and influencing WIL
  • Driving organisational and joint industry/university WIL outcomes

The Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Leadership Framework was an Office for Learning and Teaching project, Leading WIL: A distributed approach to enhance Work Integrated Learning.

The goal of the project was to develop:

  • a better understanding of the characteristics of WIL and WIL leadership needs in Australia framed within a context of distributed leadership;
  • strategies to build the capabilities and capacities that are needed by WIL leaders.

See the project website

ACEN signs Statement of Intent with industry groups and Universities  Australia

A new agreement between Universities Australia and business groups will improve the work-readiness of university graduates, expand their job opportunities as well as enhance outcomes for employers. The agreement, formally announced during an address by Universities Australia Chair Professor Sandra Harding at the National Press Club in Canberra  on February 26, comes as the Federal Government and G 20 Ministers commit to a new target for growing the global economy by an additional two per cent.

Signatories to the agreement are: Universities Australia, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group, and the Australian Collaborative Education Network Ltd.

WIL statement of intent (PDF)

Full media release from Universities Australia

ABC Radio

Address to the National Press Club, February 26, 2014 by Professor Sandra Harding, Chair, Universities Australia


Pre-Place Preparation Program resource

Pre-place-logoPre-Place is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary online program designed to provide workplace intelligence to tertiary students prior to an  industry placement. The program, produced by Flinders University,  covers university  policy requirements and procedures such as work health and safety; problem solving skills and professional attitudes and skills.


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