by the Board of the Australian Collaborative Education Network

This is the first in a series of five Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) authored snapshots to be published over coming weeks in Sally Kift’s Needed now learning and teaching series. The ACEN snapshots will highlight future national and professional priorities to prepare graduates for an increasingly uncertain, complex and connected world of work.

This series is co-authored by the ACEN Board of Directors. ACEN is the Australian peak professional association for collaborative education and is recognised as the national leader in work-integrated learning (WIL) research, scholarship and practice. We advocate for quality and accessibility in WIL through collaborative learning, engagement and partnerships with government, regulatory authorities, higher and vocational education providers, industry partners, community and students.

Our mission is to lead the advancement of WIL in Australia through:

* advocacy, networking and professional development,

* recognition of good practice, and

* a focus on quality, innovation and benchmarking.

Our vision at ACEN is to raise the profile of WIL in Australia as a strategy to prepare and educate future professionals and enhance graduate employability. WIL is at its best when it is integrated in the curriculum, underpinned by quality and ethical practice and available equitably with access for all students.

The focus of this ACEN series is on quality considerations in WIL, utilising the four pillars of the Quality WIL Framework as its framing: Student Experience, Curriculum Design, Institutional Requirements and Stakeholder Engagement (Campbell et al., 2019).

Why do we think it of interest to canvass these issues now? Simply put, the pandemic provided the opportunity to develop new, innovative and inclusive online WIL experiences. There has also been recent, dedicated government and regulatory attention directed to assuring WIL’s continuing quality and dynamism (for example, the TEQSA Guidance Note: Work-integrated learning).

We invite you to join us on Twitter @acen, visit our website, participate in ACEN Conversations and attend our National Conference. We look forward to continuing to build a strong ACEN learning community with you.


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