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Co-creating Work Integrated Learning Approaches through International Partnership: Collaborative Education & Research for Societal Development
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Urban Planing and Development. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4822-6247
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Urban Planing and Development. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5848-4288
Central University of Technology, Free State (ZAF).
2022 (English)In: International Conference on Work Integrated Learning: Abstract Book, Trollhättan: University West , 2022, p. 48-49Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores and analyse the evolvement and outcome of formal international partnership between University West (UW) in Sweden and Central University of Technology (CUT), South Africa. The collaboration was initiated in 2017, based on a mutual interest in the field of Work Integrated Learning (WIL). The differences in the universities' views, policies and strategies of WIL in research and education was seen as a strength, where the universities, through international collaboration, could learn from each other to foster further knowledge, skills and practices to develop the field of WIL in higher education and research.This study explores how an international university partnership aims to develop and integrate WIL a research and education approach to enhance societal development. The paper introduces a conceptual framework focusing on views and policies of internationalisation, connected to views and perspectives of WIL. The paper thereafter explores and analyse how an international collaboration is used to enhance and improve the different forms and approaches of WIL at the respective university.

UW and CUT comes with different history, perspectives, and strategies of WIL. The institutions recognised different strength, weaknesses and focus of WIL, which was seen as an important starting point and cornerstone for a partnership to learn from each other, and jointly develop WIL in higher education and research. In connection, the partnership aimed to further develop WIL as a new academic field, focusing on applied research approaches and strategies, together with and for societal actors, adress real societal challenges.

The partnership has been instrumental in creating opportunities to discuss and analyse the concept and application of various forms of WIL that through a close collaboration strives to overcome challenges and provide opportunities for development to the benefit of society at large. In short, the partnership has sparked various developments of WIL in higher education and research, including PhD student from CUT to be enrolled in the WIL doctoral at UW. Collaboration through an international master’s program me in WIL, will enable students from CUT and UW to study together. Through networks with industry and organisations in the respective country, internship placements is another WIL component being planned for undergraduate- and postgraduate students from both universities. Researcher from UW and CUT has initiated several research ventures and are co -publishing research outputs with a distinct WIL profile. In all, the collaborative partnership has enhanced the integration and development of, from local to international level, improving the outcome for students, researchers, and society. The partnership includes several important components, with definite possibilities for further development.Students from CUT are enrolled in the doctoral programme in WIL at UW, providing relevant WIL research and PhD staff in WIL at CUT. This helps to make inroads into establishing WIL as an independent research field of its own in the South African context and to possibly further international networks. It also helps to deve lop WIL as a research field at UW by adding South African perspectives and experiences.

The collaboration of the master's programme in WIL, offered by UW, will enable students from CUT to apply and enrol in a post-graduate WIL education and degree, without moving across the globe, hence providing a more inclusive approach to higher education, connected to the local society. Also here, WIL can be further developed by international experiences adding perspectives to both the Swedish and South African context. This both as an educational philosophy and structure as well as a field of study. Internships that are local in practice have the possibility of being global in scope through being part of an extended network, and thereby develop ways of studying WIL-processes that further strengthens WIL as an independent field of study.

Under- and postgraduate students from UW can, through the established formal structure at CUT, conduct internship placements in South Africa. A long-term sustainable collaboration between the institutions creates a foundation for opening for work and practice placement for students from all faculties, wanting to further their study period with international experiences and learning in and from working life in another context than their usual.

Researchers from UW and CUT has initiated several research ventures and are co-publishing research outputs with a distinct WIL profile. By connecting this to extended personal and professional research networks, the independent field of study can be further stabilised, and not least grow in the South African context.

The collaboration has also strengthened the WIL profile and branding of the respective university, nationally as well as internationally. As an example, the universities are planning to co-host an international WIL conference in South Africa during 2024.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West , 2022. p. 48-49
Keywords [en]
Work Integrated Learning, Internationalisation, Employability, Partnership, Education, Research, Societal development
National Category
Pedagogy Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Learning
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-19548ISBN: 9789189325302 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-19548DiVA, id: diva2:1725444
Conference
WIL'22 International Conference on Work Integrated Learning, 7-9 December 2022, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden
Note

The general theme of the conference is: “WIL in the service of society”

Available from: 2023-01-11 Created: 2023-01-11 Last updated: 2023-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Sunnemark, FredrikAssmo, Per

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Citation style
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