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Reflections of collaboration between student – university – society for research internship within the Master´s programme for Work Integrated Political Studies
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Law, Economics, Statistics and Politics. (LINA)
2020 (English)In: VILÄR: 3–4 December 2020 University West,Trollhättan. Abstracts / [ed] Kristina Johansson, Trollhättan: Högskolan Väst , 2020, p. 20-21Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

 The new Masters in Work Integrated Political Studies is the first advanced program to combine Worked Integrated learning with Political Studies. In line with Work Integrated Learning, students learn, through their studies and placements, skills and knowledge required for their future employment careers. In line with the rationale behind Work Integrated Political Studies (WIPS), students bring to the workplace (within government or civil society) knowledge from their studies at the university, which enables them to invigorate and advance workplaces and their practices from within. More specifically, in the classroom, students learn theoretical principles that inform political and critical engagement on the one hand, and concrete methodological tools to conduct studies that will be required in their line of work, on the other.The Masters in Work-Integrated Political Studies includes in the second year an internship in a host organization in government or civil society, during which the students conduct applied research for the host. Both the students’ studies at the university and research for the host the institution serves as the basis for the Masters’ thesis. In the final year of their study, WIPS students thus operate at two levels of engagements: the first level is the work and study that the students conduct for the host institution. This work has its own methodological and theoretical dimensions that are negotiated and constructed in dialog between the university (supervisor/s),the student, and the host (work-place supervisor/s). The second level of activity surrounds is the Masters’ thesis that the students write. While the compilation thesis includes the study or studies from the host institutions, the “Kappa” of the thesis is centered around ethnographic reflections, comparisons, and articulation of the kind of work and knowledge produced at the university (designated as “theory” in the WIL literature) and the kind of work and knowledge produced at the host (designated as “practice” in the WIL literature), and their own role therein, as well as the interrelation and cross-fertilization of these two spheres of activity.

In this presentation, I will use my ethnographic notes from seminars and conversation with staff and students to reflect on the collaborative work between the host institutions, the students, and the supervisors at the university during the internship. Among other things, we have found that the students’ encounter at the host organization has informed what we teach at the university; we have modified our supervision sessions accordingly, and by doing so, expanded our own level of knowledge and engagement (i.e., incorporated knowledge from the "work-place"). Another observation is that in collaboration with us (i.e., the academic supervisors/university) the host institution together with the students have developed the studies/work practice in accordance with both established and new theoretical, methodological, and critical advancement within the academy. These preliminary findings thus suggest a knowledge exchange – a possible “hybrid” or “third space” –that bridge the "theory" (university) and "practice" (workplace) divide that underpin sthe WIL literature, on the one hand, and create new practices/studies that transform the workplace in line with the ethos of Political Studies, on the other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: Högskolan Väst , 2020. p. 20-21
Keywords [en]
Work Integrated Political Studies, University West
National Category
Learning
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-16230ISBN: 978-91-88847-86-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-16230DiVA, id: diva2:1520280
Conference
VILÄR. 3–4 December 2020 University West,Trollhättan
Available from: 2021-01-20 Created: 2021-01-20 Last updated: 2021-01-20Bibliographically approved

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