While the activities of WP3, investigation of WBL practices currently under way for the development of 12 case studies – each covering placements, traineeships and entrepreneurships, it is important to define this key concept within the scope of WEXHE project.
WBL is an educational strategy or approach that provides students with real-life work experiences to apply academic knowledge and understanding as well as subject
related and generic skills and competences to develop employability skills and competences. In the setting of WEXHE it covers three modes of learning: work placements, traineeships and
- WBL is developed in a work setting, typically at an employer’s worksite. In the case of the development of entrepreneurial skills and competences these can also be developed in a standalone setting making use of informed and experienced experts of a specific employability field.
- Ideally, WBL activities are an integral part of the study programme and students are prepared for these activities in other course units. The activities are supervised and monitored by a member of staff of the HE institution.
- WBL also takes place in addition to the formal study programme. WBL strategies provides the student career awareness, career exploration opportunities, career planning activities, and help to strengthen competences such as positive work attitudes and employability skills. WBL should offer HE institutions current information about developments in employability fields related to the study programme.
- WBL can be distinguished in two types: (1) dual learning, cooperative education or sandwich course and (2) independent work-based learning. In the first type learning in the HE institutions and the work-place are fully integrated. The second type does not presume a direct link between (a particular part of) the study programme and the workplace.
- WBL experiences may be paid or unpaid. Besides a salary, this can instead be the remuneration of expenses (e.g. travel expenses and (extra) accommodation costs). Other than a paycheck, remuneration might include company discounts or scholarships. Cooperative education experiences are always paid employment.
For more updates and information on the WEXHE Project, stay tuned!