Bulletin Board - Document Comments

Bulletin Board - Review and Comment

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Important Information

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When you finalise your submission in step 3 your comments will be emailed to the Document Author with a copy to you, and to policy@mq.edu.au for record keeping purposes.

Work Integrated Learning Policy

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy sets out the principles, responsibilities, and procedures for work integrated learning (WIL) within units and courses at Macquarie University.

Scope

(2) This Policy applies to all WIL experiences in undergraduate, postgraduate, and higher degree research courses.

(3) This Policy applies to all staff of Macquarie University and third-party providers involved in the design, delivery, and supervision of WIL.

(4) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Curriculum Architecture Policy and Curriculum Architecture Principles.

(5) This Policy does not apply to activities undertaken by students that are outside the requirements of a unit or course.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) WIL is a quality assured form of education that integrates the theory of learning with the professional practice of work.

(7) WIL is designed to maximise opportunities for students to develop capabilities to enhance their work-readiness and employability through purposefully engagement and partnership with relevant employers, industry, and the professions.

(8) WIL is also designed to facilitate students’ reflective practice, development of their sense of purpose, insight, competence and agency in relation to their career path and aspirations.

(9) In accordance with the Curriculum Architecture Policy, all courses will provide students with a capstone and/or PACE unit(s) in the core zone in an essential unit. PACE and capstone units will embed WIL to ensure professional preparation for transition to the workforce.

(10) WIL is:

  1. constructively aligned to the learning outcomes of a course or unit and the methods of assessment;
  2. designed and implemented to promote mutually beneficial exchange between students, partner organisations, and the University including mitigation of associated risk;
  3. designed to meet the specific professional accreditation, discipline, and student support requirements including those contained within relevant legislation and standards; and
  4. quality assured including industry and partner feedback and assurance of the quality of supervision of student experiences.

(11) WIL experiences may take a variety of forms including but not limited to:

  1. accreditation or other professional workplace practicums, internships, or placements;
  2. industry or workplace projects;
  3. fieldwork or professional activities that occur off campus and in person.
  4. simulation or virtual experiences; and
  5. career development learning activities.

(12) WIL experiences must meet three of the following criteria:

  1. integrated theory with the practice of work;
  2. engagement with industry and/or community partners;
  3. planned, authentic activities that enable students to reflect on their practice; and
  4. specifically designed assessment tasks that have a purposeful link to curriculum.

(13) WIL is not the same as work experience or other forms of student employment because it requires evidence of reflective practice.

(14) WIL experiences will be classified as full or embedded depending on the duration of the experience (or equivalent, depending on the nature of experience) as follows:

  1. Full WIL will be the classification for experiences in which students are meaningfully engaged with industry/community for a minimum of 35 hours (for a 10 credit point unit); and
  2. Embedded WIL will be the classification for experiences in which students are meaningfully engaged with industry/community for a minimum of one (1) hour.

(15) Work Experience in Industry (WEI) units may be approved by the University in accordance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and associated Guidelines. Such units are comprised only of work done as part of, or in connection with, a course of study undertaken with a provider; and the purpose of which is to obtain work experience relevant to the course of study. A unit is not a WEI unit if all of the following are performed by the staff of the provider or by persons engaged by the provider:

  1. ongoing and regular input and contact with students;
  2. oversight and direction of work occurring during its performance, not just the progress of a student’s work;
  3. definition and management of the implementation of educational content and objectives of the unit;
  4. definition and management of assessment of student learning and performance during the placement; and
  5. definition and management of the standard of learning and performance to be achieved by the student during the placement.

Design, approval, monitoring, and review of WIL units

(16) WIL units will be approved by Faculties in accordance with the Delegations of Authority and Faculty Board Terms of Reference. Monitoring and review will occur in accordance with the Unit of Study Monitoring and Grade Ratification Policy and the Unit of Study Periodic Review Policy.

(17) Course design, review, and accreditation processes will incorporate consideration of WIL units and experiences in line with the Employability Strategy, the Employability Framework, and this Policy to quality assure WIL experiences and outcomes across student cohorts.

(18) WIL units that have been designated as PACE units will be identified and named according to a consistent convention. PACE will be added at the start of the unit title so that it is readily identified within the course requirements/study plan.

(19) WIL units will be designed, approved, and reviewed to facilitate high-quality WIL experiences for both students and partners, due regard for the principles in this policy, course design requirements, and external accreditation processes. Consideration will be given to:

  1. appropriate student preparation, supervision, monitoring, and feedback before, during, and after the WIL experience;
  2. the learning environment, whether physical, virtual or blended, and associated learning activities support academic interactions among students outside of formal teaching
  3. ethical practice;
  4. relevant health and safety legislation and University policies;
  5. mitigation of potential risks and safety hazards;
  6. conflict of interest;
  7. intellectual property rights;
  8. confidentiality and privacy;
  9. data security, and 
  10. the overall ability to safeguard the quality of the student experience. 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

(20) Eligibility for WIL RPL will be assessed in accordance with the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

Accessibility and support for WIL

(21) Students will be required to meet inherent and/or Fitness to Practice (FTP) requirements associated with WIL units and WIL experiences.

(22) The University will consider reasonable adjustments to ensure equitable access to WIL experiences for students in line with the Student Disability Support Policy and Student Disability Support Procedure.

(23) The University will ensure equitable access to WIL experiences for all International students. For onshore international students WIL experiences must comply with the student’s visa conditions.

(24) WIL experiences may include travel to and from a workplace and this will be at a student’s own expense unless otherwise negotiated.

Insurance for WIL

(25) For approved WIL experiences students will be covered by the University’s insurance unless they are employed by a partner organisation, in which case the student will be covered by the employer’s insurance.  

International WIL

(26) International travel for a WIL experience is subject to the University’s relevant policies and procedures as well as any travel advice or restrictions at the time of the activity.

(27) WIL experiences must be compliant with the requirements of the Fair Work Act (2009) or the relevant country’s legislation if it is an overseas activity. 

WIL Partners and Providers

(28) WIL experiences will be subject to due diligence assessment of potential WIL partners/organisations to ensure the quality of the WIL experience and compliance with all relevant legislative obligations as well as University policies and procedures. 

(29) The facilities where WIL experiences are undertaken, must be fit for their educational purposes, and able to accommodate the numbers and activities of the students and staff who use them.

(30) Monitoring and evaluation of WIL partners/organisations will be completed as part of the overall quality assurance of WIL experiences, including provision of opportunities for partners to provide feedback to the University.

(31) The University may engage third party providers to support the delivery of high-quality WIL experiences and those providers must comply with relevant legislative obligations as well as University policies and procedures.

(32) Third party providers will be subject to monitoring and evaluation processes as part of the obligations and overall agreement with Macquarie University.

Student Conduct and Performance related to WIL

(33) Whilst undertaking WIL, students will be required to:

  1. observe the Student Code of Conduct at all times;
  2. comply with workplace standards of professional behaviour and partner policies and procedures;
  3. maintain satisfactory attendance and /or participation; and
  4. complete all components of the WIL experience as specified in the unit guide and/or activity agreement.

(34) Where a student’s conduct or performance during a WIL experience is considered to be unsatisfactory or at risk of not meeting expectations, the relevant Faculty will review in accordance with the course requirements and advice from the relevant Unit Convenor.

(35) Misconduct or concerning behaviours reported during the WIL experience will be managed in accordance with the University’s student care and reporting processes including the student’s right to appeal.

(36) In managing student conduct and performance issues related to WIL, the University may:

  1. withdraw or suspend a student from participating in the WIL experience for a period of time;
  2. impose specific conditions upon the student to continue the WIL experience; and/or
  3. terminate the WIL experience if performance is not satisfactory, poses an unacceptable risk and/or there has been a breach of the Student Code of Conduct.

(37) WIL partners may choose to terminate a WIL experience at any time by advising the University in writing.

(38) In circumstances where the WIL partner has not fulfilled obligations related to the WIL experience and/or met the University’s required quality standards, the University may terminate the WIL experience by advising the WIL partner in writing.

(39) If a WIL experience is terminated for reasons not related to the student, the University will advise the student in writing and will determine whether the completed WIL experience satisfies unit and/or course requirements.

(40) If the student is required to complete further WIL experience following termination under clause 39, the University will make, or assist the student to organise alternative arrangements ensuring there is no academic disadvantage.

Roles and responsibilities

(41) The University will be responsible for:

  1. developing, implementing, and maintaining policies, processes and systems that promote a high quality, safe and regulatory compliant WIL experience for students and partners;
  2. taking effective steps to monitor and support the wellbeing and safety of students engaged in WIL experiences;
  3. providing appropriate resourcing, staffing, and academic oversight for the delivery of WIL experiences throughout units and courses;
  4. ensuring there are clear student complaint processes capable of resolving issues students may have with WIL aspects of their course, as well as managing critical incidents should they eventuate;
  5. providing appropriate academic and/or other support if needed;
  6. monitoring the partners/organisations engaged in WIL experiences and providing appropriate feedback and/or other support if needed; and
  7. reporting to external agencies and accrediting bodies about WIL experiences as required.

(42) Students undertaking WIL experiences will be responsible for:

  1. completing any preparation obligations for the WIL experience in accordance with University and WIL partners’ requirements;
  2. meeting the expectations of professional behaviour;
  3. observance of reasonable directions from the WIL partner/organisation;
  4. maintaining satisfactory performance and progression during the WIL experience; and
  5. contacting the University promptly should an issue or incident occur during the WIL experience.

(43) WIL partners and providers will be responsible for:

  1. meeting preparation obligations for the WIL experience in accordance with University’s requirements;
  2. providing a safe workplace environment with appropriate supervision and feedback to support the student’s learning through the WIL experience;
  3. communicating with and providing feedback to the University and the student(s) as required;
  4. appropriately inducting students to the workplace as part of the WIL experience; and
  5. contacting the University promptly should an issue or incident occur during the WIL experience.

Governance, quality, and reporting

(44) WIL experiences will be appropriately documented, with records to be retained and stored in accordance with the Records and Information Management Policy. For placements, internships, and workplace projects, there will be an agreement to outline realistic expectations for all stakeholders, roles and responsibilities, and expected outcomes.  In most cases, this agreement will be in writing and approved prior to the commencement of the WIL experience.

(45) Academic Senate will monitor:

  1. the delivery of quality WIL experiences in courses; and
  2. outcomes across student cohorts, of units that incorporate WIL experiences;

(46) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Faculty Executive Deans will monitor:

  1. resources and staffing for delivery and reporting of WIL experiences in line with the Employability Strategy, Employability Framework, and course review;
  2. agreements with external agencies and accrediting bodies. 

(47) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Faculty Executive Deans will be responsible for regulatory compliance and reporting to external agencies such as accrediting bodies, government departments, and quality agencies.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(48) Procedure to guide termination of a WIL experience.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(49)  Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(50) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. WEI units are those which comprise totally of work:
    1. that is done as a part of, or in connection with, a course of study undertaken with a provider; and
    2. the purpose of which is to obtain work experience relevant to the course of study
  2. A unit is not a WEI unit if all of the following are performed by the staff of the provider or by persons engaged by the provider:
    1. ongoing and regular input and contact with students;
    2. oversight and direction of work occurring during its performance, not just the progress of a student’s work;
    3. definition and management of the implementation of educational content and objectives of the unit;
    4. definition and management of assessment of student learning and performance during the placement; and
    5. definition and management of the standard of learning and performance to be achieved by the student during the placement.
  3. WIL experience (to be defined).