At our third successful UTS WIL Symposium, we utilised the interactive world café style approach to discover the hidden Work Integrated Learning (WIL) ‘gems’ at UTS. Professor Franziska Trede opened the symposium outlining what WIL is and what quality WIL looks like referring to the UTS WIL Quality Framework. Next, Professor Kylie Readman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students), took time out of her busy schedule and made connections between the UTS WIL Quality framework and the Student Experience Framework

Mira Skoric from the Business School facilitated the ‘world cafe’ part of the day. Twelve academic faculty presentations were energetically pitched – alongside a sharing of love and chocolate – as various incentives were offered to the participants to discover more about these WIL gems.  There were opportunities for dialogue, feedback and learning from these Quality WIL practices as participants moved from table to table to explore a variety of exemplars.

A student panel, comprised of both undergraduate and postgraduate students, was facilitated by Dimity Wehr (TACT in IML). Eyla Oxborrow, Ya Ping Liao, Portia Amy-Wilson, Jacqueline Koutsoubos, Tishi Sahu and Ethan Krumins eloquently fed back their insights to presenters and attendees.

💎 WIL gems from the students’ perspectives

The professional laboratory portfolio is self-directed, meaning it can suit students who are working full-time or have many things to juggle.


The TD team changed the way I saw TD electives as a whole and why they are so important: because everyone’s job needs TD collaboration skills and innovative ideas to tackle problems!


Students  in TD school can find innovations and try to build up an environment where they can coordinate with industry partners. Working together, not just a client, lets students become more advanced.

Ya Ping

Optik is, in my perspective, what internships should be: impactful! They described how internships should have a balance between meaningful work and learning… [it] changed the way I thought [about] what an internship should be.


The MAPS professors remain authentic about how hard it is to get a career in physics or forensics. They counter this by teaching transferable skills, supportive, authentic according to what students can learn [whilst maintaining] the transparency with students.


Law is thinking about making this subject core for all students. Incorporating mock trials, that real-world experience – not just talking about it.


Sports Science students experience two industry partnerships in the first semester(3rd year) – real injuries, problems etc with clients. Guided by supervisors, good experience.


The Australasian Synthetic Biology Challenge is a great Internship experience that teaches you more than just science. You learn how to create a pitch, liaise/collaborate with companies, learn the business and marketing side of science and gain feedback throughout the project. Voluntary internship can go towards credit points of your degree.


The icare challenge is part of the subject. Students were recognised. icare could perhaps fast forward and show how the students’ ideas were incorporated into their business, so that students could see the strength of their work.


[Careers enabled] working with alumni can discuss with [university] students who haven’t had the same experience.

Ya Ping

Great opportunity in PEMS for all science students in a real work lab experience as it diversifies what you learn about at university and gives students a more hands-on and real world experience.


To find out more of what the students had to say, watch the recording of the student panel (32 mins):

Event highlights

Anonymous feedback about the event included:

The table discussions were fantastic

World cafe format worked so well

Interaction with all faculties and students

The energy and warmth in the room – everyone keen to listen and share. The opening was great – both Franziska and Kylie gave clear background and direction. Well organised activities and wonderful of course to have students there with a purpose and a voice. Their feedback to our table was the best.

The WIL symposium committee 2023 would like to thank the following presenters and their teams who contributed to the day:

  • Cathy Gorrie  (Faculty of Science) – 69507 Professional Laboratory Portfolio 
  • Candy Jenkins (Careers) – Career and Life Design ​in curriculum​
  • Sara Wilkinson (DAB) – Sustainable Temporary Adaptive Reuse (STAR) Toolkit Project
  • Annette Dowd, Janice McCauley, Dennis McNevin​ (Faculty of Science MAPS) – How and why we use WIL in MAPS
  • Antonette Shibani & Leila Khanjaninejad​ (TD school) – WIL experience in a TD space
  • Osman Mah (FEIT) – Optik program
  • Rosemary Sainty (Business) – icare awards industry partnership
  • Tracey Booth & Rachel Thompson (Law) – WIL @Juris Doctor (JD)
  • Geidre Kligyte & Francine Crimmins (TD School) – WIL in the TD Electives program
  • Sacha Stelzer- Braid (Faculty of Science) – Professional Experience in Medical Science (PEMS)
  • Kellie Ellis (Health Sciences, Sports and Exercise Science) – Industry Specific projects
  • Andrew Care (Faculty of Science) – Australasian Synthetic Biology Challenge  

For more information

Explore the WIL Hub SharePoint site and its WIL Quality Framework. To join the Professional Education and Practice Network (PEPN), contact 

Join the discussion