Academica Group research examines benefits of work-integrated learning

November 14, 2014

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has published a report covering the third and final phase of a multi-year study of work-integrated learning (WIL). The research, conducted by Academica Group, found that not all students benefited equally from WIL participation: arts and humanities and social sciences university graduates reported the lowest levels of WIL participation, and those who did participate experienced fewer benefits as a result. WIL was not found to have a significant impact on time to employment, but WIL participants were more likely to have a new job in place before finishing school than non-WIL students, who were more likely to continue working in a position they already held. Both college and university WIL participants were more likely to feel that they were appropriately qualified for their job, that their job was related to their long-term career goals, and that their job was related to their studies. University graduates in business, science and engineering, and health sciences and social services programs saw an earnings premium over non-WIL participants; however, social sciences and arts and humanities university graduates did not. Academica suggests that further research is needed to help ensure that students in all academic programs experience the benefits of WIL, as well as to identify the longer-term benefits of participation. HEQCO Summary | Full Report