Factors relating to the effective implementation of work integrated learning in south african higher learning
Modisenyane, Abel Thatayaone
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The university sector is increasingly adopting work-integrated learning method as a valid pedagogy and as a means to respond to the demands by employers for work-ready graduates and demands by students for employable knowledge and skills. The term work-integrated learning is used to encompass a range of activities and experiences that draw together formal coursework with industry or workplace learning. It could be important that the implementation of work-integrated learning would be developed through supported policy and coordinated practices. This study focuses on the factors relating to the implementation of work integrated learning in South African Higher Learning Institutions. Work-integrated learning policy is a guide to quality enhancement and fostering a continuous improvement that focuses on the outcomes of student learning guided by quality inputs, process and impact. The policies assist institutions in making informed decisions on operational procedures, staffing and resource allocation in co-operation with external partners. The purpose of policies is to set out the definition, guidelines and framework for the strategic operational management of work integrated learning. This researched aimed to evaluate the factors relating to the effective implementation of work integrated learning in South African higher education institutions. A qualitative research approach was taken with data gathered from interviews form five academics involved in work integrated learning (N=S). Content (theme) analyses were applied to analyse the data. The findings showed that higher education institutions do not prepare students adequately for the workplace. As a result there is a growing need for higher education institutions to implement work integrated learning programmes to enhance student employability. The findings also revealed several factors that that are crucial to ensure effective processes for the implementation of work integrated learning. The participants in particular highlighted the need for a clear framework for cooperative education. Finally the participants also highlighted impotiant factors such as government support that can enhance the policy implementation for work integrated learning.
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