Report takes pulse of work-integrated learning opportunities

As originally appearing on the McGill Reporter

On Sept. 27, Principal Suzanne Fortier met with leaders from 26 Canadian post-secondary institutions and the private sector for the Business/Higher Education Roundtable on work-integrated learning. McGill is one of six universities participating in the group. This week, the B/HER released its research report, “Taking the Pulse of Work-Integrated Learning in Canada.”

The report identifies best practices regarding, and barriers to implementing, work-integrated learning (WIL). The report concludes with recommendations for increasing student access to WIL opportunities. Both a summary and the full report are now available online.

The B/HER defines WIL as “the process through which students come to learn from experiences in educational and practice settings. It includes the kinds of curriculum and pedagogic practices that can assist, provide, and effectively integrate learning experiences in both settings.” About half of university students, and 65-70 per cent of college and polytechnic students, take part in some form of WIL during their studies. These activities can include internships, field experience, hackathons, incubators and accelerators.

The Business Council of Canada established the B/HER in April 2015 as a national forum to “support young Canadians as they transition from education to the workplace, strengthen research collaboration between industry and institutions, and help Canadian employers as they adapt to the economy of the future.”