Expanding the impact of work-integrated learning in TNE environments


Universities worldwide face pressure to equip graduates with skills and attributes that match industry and wider social and community needs. Therefore, moves to incorporate work integrated learning (WIL) – course offerings that embed authentic work elements such as internships and industry projects – are gaining strength. Research into WIL’s ability to improve employability outcomes for key university stakeholders – students, employers and wider society – is a growing area of interest. Although WIL can offer universities opportunities to grow and share cross-disciplinary knowledge (Brown, 2010), its value to do this has not been realised in domestic markets, let alone TNE contexts. WIL is resource-intensive (Universities Australia, 2015) and its implementation in TNE environments challenging. This e-poster will propose WIL’s potential to not only enhance student employability outcomes in TNE locations, but also to generate learning benefits and better outcomes for students, staff and the wider institution.

Take-home message:

Work integrated learning in TNE contexts yields important benefits for key stakeholders: students, the host country industry environment, local teaching staff, and the wider organisation. The benefits extend beyond graduate employability. Its potential value justifies practical consideration and future research. 

Key interest area: Transnational education (TNE) 
Other key interest areas: Employability (EMP), Hihger Education (HE), Learning and teaching (L&T)

Dr Christine Bilsland


Macquarie University

Dr Christine Bilsland’s PhD thesis (2017) investigated work integrated learning and employability in transnational education. She previously lectured at RMIT Vietnam’s Hanoi campus for more than five years and has developed and delivered a range of education and training programs for international student audiences. With a background in the tourism industry, her journey in transnational education began in Singapore, where she coordinated work integrated learning training at a polytechnic and lectured at the Singapore campus of a UK university.