oa Educor Multidisciplinary Journal - Work-integrated learning practices : lessons from private higher education institutions - research

Volume 3 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2520-4254
  • E-ISSN: 2663-2349



Work-integrated learning has become an integral part of learning in most higher education institutions. Towards the end of their academic careers, students are expected to integrate the theory learned in class to practice by practising their professional skills in a conducive working environment. Through workplace practice, students get the opportunity to engage with members of communities through service delivery. The aim of this paper is to explore the impact and contribution of work-integrated learning practice to student learning in private higher educational institutions. This paper furthermore aims to explore students’ views and experiences of workplace practice in private higher education institutions in comparison to the experiences of those working in the public sector. The study also assesses the academic supervisor’s strategies in influencing student learning during workplace practice. This study adopts a qualitative research method which is participatory in nature. The research relied on the information, perspectives and views of higher educational teachers. Using purposive sampling, data was collected in a focus group discussion with ten academic supervisors in the private sector and a group of five final-year degree and five diploma students in a private higher learning institution in Pretoria. The findings collected from the participants in the study support the fact that workplace practice addresses unavoidable gaps in learning. It is necessary for students to learn effective skills and the desired work relations needed for the work environment. The study concludes by providing insight into the impact and strategies engaged with regards to work-integrated learning and student learning processes in private higher education institutions. Recommendations on value-added policies that enhance teaching and learning strategies and course content on work-integrated learning within private higher education institutions were suggested in the study.

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