Deepening industry engagement with international students through Work-Integrated Learning

Document Type

Journal Article


Flinders University


School of Business and Law




Originally published as : Jackson, D. d. (2016). Deepening Industry Engagement with International Students Through Workintegrated Learning. Australian Bulletin Of Labour, 42(1), 38-61. Article found here


This study canvasses employer, academic, and student perspectives on the barriers experienced by international students in gaining exposure to the Western Australian workplace through Work-integrated Learning (WIL). It explores international-student participation in work placements—one example of WIL offerings—as part of their university studies. WIL is highly regarded by international students who seek to gain local experience to improve their employment prospects; it is a key consideration for study destination. WIL also holds significant benefits for industry. These potential benefits include gaining cultural insight, linguistic expertise and, potentially, deepening existing collaborative global partnerships through the placement of participating international students. Findings indicate that a relatively low proportion of international students participate in WIL compared with domestic students. Implications of employer reluctance to engage with international students extend beyond individual employability and may affect international education’s status as one of Australia’s largest export industries. Stakeholder strategies to alleviate barriers to international students participating in WIL are discussed.