A new type of WIL: Science students draw on their extant work for learning and course credit

Susan Leonie Rowland, Deanne Gannaway, Christine Slade, Robyn Evans, Peter Adams


Australian STEM graduates emerge from their degrees with deep specialty-area knowledge but the majority of science graduates are employed in non-science areas (1,2). These graduates need the career management skills defined by Bridgstock (2009).
Tertiary science curricula do not generally help students develop life or career planning perspectives, and Australian employers have difficulty finding STEM graduates with well-developed interpersonal skills, understanding of business, and significant workplace experience. Compounding these issues is the problem of limited industry access for science students who want to complete work-integrated learning.
In response, we have developed SCIWILWORK, a new program at UQ that aims to help science students draw on their current paid work to develop better understandings about employability.
This talk will examine the pilot version of SCIWIL WORK and address the process of SCIWILWORK curriculum design, the tension between stakeholder perceptions of employability studies and science-focused WIL, and the students’ perceptions of work, WIL, and the value of non-science WIL to science undergraduates.


Work integrated learning (WIL), Science, Curriculum

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