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Employability and work-integrated learning research

Developing and championing work-integrated learning approaches

The Work-Integrated Learning Hub conducts research to elevate the University of Sydney Business School to a world-class institution for work-integrated learning.

About us

The award-winning Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Hub evaluates and designs work-based learning and teaching for the future of work.

We engage in employability research with a focus on higher education teaching and learning that closely aligns with labour market forecasts for the future of jobs. This includes the development of graduate qualities, employability skills and professional skills, vital assets for ensuring students have the right skills to enter the job market.

Our research focus areas are:

  • Higher education teaching and learning
  • Edutech and badging
  • Blended learning
  • Short-term mobility
  • Employability

The WIL Hub partners with industry across the globe. Our research influences the design and delivery of work-integrated learning programs within the University and beyond.

Currently we are undertaking a large international research project that focuses on employability development for business students in China, Australia and the Philippines.

Our award-winning team

In 2022 the WIL Hub team's teaching efforts were recognised with a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in the 2021 Australian Awards for University Teaching by Universities Australia.

The WIL Hub was also nominated for the 2022 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Educational Engagement and Innovation at the University of Sydney.

Our research projects

  • 2022-2024 Research Seminar on Work-Integrated Learning at Elon University's Center for Engaged Learning.
    • Associate Professor Rachael Hains-Wesson's participation and research will focus on the barriers, opportunities, and employability skill development stories about domestic and international students’ work-integrated learning experiences in placement/internship outcomes and at a global scale.
  • Hains-Wesson, R., Ji, K., and Wu Berberich, B. (2021). A White Paper for Australian and Chinese Employability Professionals: Employability and Career Development.
  • China Studies Centre, Research on the Global Issues in China, (2019). Bing Wu Berberich and Rachael Hains-Wesson, Employability of Chinese and Australian Business Students, p. 23, Sydney, NSW Australia.
  • Hains-Wesson, R., and Ji, K. (2018). Business students' perceptions of completing teamwork as part of post-practicum learning experiences, in Augmenting students' learning through post-practicum educational processes. Office of Learning and Teaching Development Grant, Canberra, Australia.

Our publications

McKenzie, S., Hains-Wesson R., Bangay, S., & Bowtell, G. (2022). A Team-Teaching Approach for Blended Learning: An Experiment, Studies in Higher Education, 47(4), 860-874, doi: 10.1080/03075079.2020.1817887. 

Hains-Wesson, R. (2022). A philosophy of practice to inform team-teaching: A blended auto-ethnographical account, Issues in Educational Research, 32(4), 1403-1420.

Hains-Wesson, R. (2021). Something went terribly wrong: Failing successfully, Higher Education Research & Development.

Hains-Wesson, R., Cejnarb, L., Ji, K., Shahbazid, M., and Luksich, M. (2021). Work-Integrated Education: Improving placement pedagogy and practice, in Handbook of Teaching and Learning at Business Schools: A Practice-Based Approach, (eds.,), Thomsen, T. U., Lindgreen, A., Kjærgaard, A., Rosier, E., & Tuncdogan, A. Edward Elgar, UK.

Hains-Wesson, R., & Ji K. (2021). An interdisciplinary, short-term mobility, work-integrated learning experiment: Education for change, Issues in Educational Research, Volume 31 Issue 3, 800-815.

McKenzie, S., Hains-Wesson R., Bangay, S., & Bowtell, G. (2020). A Team-Teaching Approach for Blended Learning: An Experiment, Studies in Higher Education.

Hains-Wesson, R., & Ji K. (2020). Students’ perceptions of an interdisciplinary global study tour: Uncovering inexplicit employability skills, Higher Education Research & Development, Volume 39 Issue 4, 657-671.

Hains-Wesson R., & Ji K. (2020). Developing Self-Confidence: Students’ Perceptions of Post-practicum Project Teamwork. In: Billett S., Orrell J., Jackson D., Valencia-Forrester F. (eds) Enriching Higher Education Students' Learning through Post-work Placement Interventions. Professional and Practice-based Learning, vol 28. Springer, Cham.

Hains-Wesson, R., Pollard, V., Kaider, F., & Young, K. (2019). STEM academic teachers’ experiences of undertaking authentic assessment-led reform: A mixed method approach, Studies in Higher Education, 45(9), 1797-1808.

Wakeling, L., Aldred, P., & Hains-Wesson, R. (2018). ePortfolios and Reflective Practice For Food Science Students, Journal of Food Science Education, 17(2), 52-59.

Pollard, V., Hains-Wesson, R., & Young, R. (2017): Creative teaching in STEM, Teaching in Higher Education.

Hains-Wesson, R. & Appleby, M. (2017). A perspective on third-party providers and study tour programs: A mixed method study, Issues in Educational Research, 27(3), 435-452.

Kaider, F., Hains-Wesson, R., & Young, K. (2017). Practical typology of authentic WIL learning activities and assessments, Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, Special Issue, 18(2), 153-165.

Hains-Wesson, R. (2017). Why aren’t we talking? Third-party providers and mobility programs, Higher Education Research and Development, 36(4), 866-869.

Hains-Wesson, R., Pollard, V. & Campbell, A. (2017). A three-stage process of improvisation for teamwork: Action research, Issues in Educational Research, 27(1): 69-85.

Hains-Wesson, R., & Young, K. (2017). A collaborative autoethnography study to inform the teaching of reflective practice in STEM, Higher Education Research & Development, 36(2), 297-310.

Workshops and events



CSC Bookworm Series: A White Paper for Australian and Chinese Employability Professionals

Associate Professor Rachael Hains-Wesson talks about work-integrated learning at the Business School on CNBC TV18.


Rachael Hains-Wesson
Associate Professor Rachael Hains-Wesson
Academic profile

Employability and Career Development white paper (English)

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Employability and Career Development white paper (Mandarin)

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