Ward, Lisa J. (2011) Developing and Engaging in Collaborative Networks to Support Student Employability and Work Placements – Examples from a Local, National and International Perspective. In: WACE 17th World Conference on Co-operative & Work Integrated Education, 15-17 June 2011, Philadelphia, USA.
Abstract

This paper presents a personal account of becoming actively engaged in networks to support student employability and work placements. In particular, it will look at strategies for developing networks that are sustainable and will provide examples from an institutional, national and international context. Examples will be drawn from an institutional level by looking at University projects funded to develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning linked to employability and future professions. The paper explores the challenges in developing support networks for practitioners involved in these teaching and learning projects, which deals with such areas as integrating volunteering into the curriculum, employer engagement and being a UK partner in an international comparative research study looking at the psychological benefits of placement in preparing student for life and work. At a national level, the role of the UK national organisation (ASET) in supporting members by organising and facilitating activities such as conferences, networks and special interest groups will be discussed. My particular interest is how a UK (or other national) network can develop and grow international links, and how to encourage more international collaboration. Finally, a look at how to make the most out of connections across the world that a forum like WACE provides, and which can assist in developing links with conference attendees to form informal support and information networks.

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