A purpose-driven ecosystem approach to WIL and career education
As an institution of higher learning, our mission is to prepare our students for their future of work within an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. While this concept might have been viewed as something that would occur in the distant future, the COVID pandemic has brought home the realities of navigating volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in 2021, making clear that adapting to this uncertain state will be required of our students and graduates as they enter the workplace.
This keynote will describe the strengths of an intentional, integrated work-integrated learning (WIL) and career education ecosystem to prepare students for the future of work. It will draw upon Activity Theory to illuminate how the ecosystem operates and will also discuss how its value is strengthened when combined with the ancient Japanese concept of Ikigai. Taken together, this ikigai-centred ecosystem offers a powerful framework for understanding how higher education can support learners to uncover where they find meaning and purpose and to navigate the future of work with agency and resilience.
The purpose-driven ecosystems approach in Waterloo’s WIL and career education cultivates the skills, habits and resilience in Waterloo students such that they can make positive impacts on organizations, which unleashes bigger picture impacts: offering communities fuel to effect sustainable change for a better world.
Read more about Norah McRae here.
Universities have been affected in various ways by the COVID-19 pandemic. It created uncertainty at universities, amongst others, on how to mitigate the risks posed to work-integrated learning (WIL).
This presentation reflects on how the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) in South Africa successfully dealt with the adversity created by the pandemic. This is evidenced by the 99.6% of the 8522 WIL students successfully placed for WIL in the various WIL modalities used at CUT.
A doctoral degree awarded for a WIL strategy developed for CUT formed the basis of the approach followed. The strategy included a configuration of CUT structures and committees to enable a process flow based on sound WIL pedagogy. It also impacted on the adoption of a WIL policy and procedure that made provision for a flexible application of WIL. This provided the foundation for the development of WIL principles and guidelines to follow at CUT to address the dangers posed to WIL.
In addition, after consultation at a national WIL webinar and with other statutory bodies, these guidelines were endorsed by South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology as guidelines to implement in the higher education system in South Africa.