WACE - advancing cooperative and work-integrated learningWelcome to the fourth edition of the WACE Newsletter and the first for 2021. This newsletter is aimed at helping you stay connected to Co-operative & Work Integrated Education (CWIE) occurrences across the globe. WACE is the only international professional organization dedicated to developing, expanding, branding and advocating for cooperative & work-integrated education programs within industry and educational institutions.

With less than two months until the WACE World Virtual Conference (11-13 May), planning is well advanced and a program is taking shape and will be published shortly, we encourage you to register now. The outcomes of the WACE Global Student Collaborative Project pilot in 2020 are outlined. Resulting from that pilot, WACE is announcing an exciting partnership with edtech startup Practera to launch a WACE Global Challenge student-industry project program for 2021.

WACE is pleased to announce that we have signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. Our first collaboration is supporting the IFC with their Employability Benchmarking exercise which is detailed in this newsletter. We encourage you to participate.

We welcome one of our new members , the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in the WACE New Member profile, get an update on WIL research from the WACE International Research Community, and National Association updates.

Finally, and importantly Global WIL Team are re doing their Professional Development (PD) survey to determine the PD requirements of the global WIL community. The data will update the findings from the first survey in 2017 with current data guiding professional development broadly across the sector. We strongly encourage you to take the survey.

We welcome your feedback and any updates you would like to include in future editions of the newsletter and hope everyone is staying safe in these challenging times.

Norah McRae, Judie Kay, Nancy Johnston, and Jim Stellar
WACE Secretariat


WACE 2021 conference


May 11-13: Register now  for the Early bird rate

In addition to over thirty presentations, the program will feature Regional Spotlights with updates on what’s happening across the globe hosted by our National Associations.

With colleagues already registered from South Africa, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, Rwanda, Namibia, Sweden, Canada, USA , Peru, Japan, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand there will be wonderful opportunities to extend your global networks.

Early bird rates for the WACE Virtual World Conference has been extended to March 30, 2021. Staff of current institutional members attend free. Register here

Special offer available for membership and conference attendance.

Conference Sponsors:

International Finance Corp logo
International Finance Corp logo
International Finance Corp logo
International Finance Corp logo

WACE partners with the International Finance Corporation (IFC)

WACE is delighted to announce it is entering into a memorandum of understanding to partner with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – a member of the World Bank Group. The IFC’s mission is to ‘advance economic development by encouraging the growth of private enterprise in developing countries’. WACE is partnering with the education division of the IFC which has the goal of developing capacity in higher education institutions especially in Latin America and Africa. This division is particularly interested in strengthening WIL and career programming in higher education institutions in these regions.
The WACE – IFC partnership will focus on:

  • Information sharing
  • Benchmarking
  • Staff capacity building
  • Employer engagement
  •  Institutional and student focused global WIL activities

As our first collaboration the WACE community is invited to participate in the IFC  Employability Benchmarking Survey

International Finance Corp logo

Employability Benchmarking from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has developed an employability benchmarking questionnaire for its new Vitae initiative, which documents the practices that higher education institutions use to support employability outcomes for their students. As part of the partnership between IFC and WACE, we’re circulating the questionnaire to WACE members.

Please take 20 minutes to fill in the data on behalf of your institution by 31 March 2021, by visiting IFC’s Vitae website and completing the Employability Benchmarking Questionnaire.

Your responses will be processed, aggregated, and included in a benchmark that IFC is developing on employability practices in higher education. The data will be treated in a confidential manner and institution-specific information will not be shared with third parties. Should you have questions, please reach out to the IFC team: either Viktoryia Menkova at vmenkova@ifc.org or Rebecca Menes at rmenes@ifc.org.

The WACE community can get access to information in the following ways:

  • Online, each institution will be able to see its score against 5 assessed dimensions of employability, compared to a ‘frontier’ of good practices (a score of “4” in each of the dimensions). A brief on good practices can also be viewed.
  • After the submission deadline, IFC will produce a summary report, which will show the average of scores for WACE institutions on each dimension, the range of scores received per dimension, and include good practices guidance on the dimensions. This summary can be distributed to all institutions who complete the benchmarking, but individual Institutional scores will not be shared.

For more information please see www.vitaeready.org


The WACE Global Student Collaborative Projects’ (WGSCP) program in collaboration with Australian edtech, company Practera was successfully piloted in late 2020. It connected students from 9 WACE Institutional members from 8 countries in a transnational project experience that included an industry project aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), cultural intelligence training, project presentations and reflection sessions.
Student feedback
The program received great student feedback on the experience including the following:

  • 82% Increased student’s employability skills
  • 80% Increased student’s social & professional networks
  • 56% Increased client’s business decision making
  • 88% Increased understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • 87% Increased their ability to communicate and collaborate with team members across cultures.

 “It was an eye-opening experience for me and a great opportunity to work with actual clients to practice analytical and consulting skills.”Khizer, University of Central Asia, Tajikistan
“I had a really great experience and built relationships with my group members that will definitely result in a lifetime bond. We met up and had fun while creating our business plan” Elackeya, University of Waterloo, Canada
Many thanks to the WACE Member institutions who partnered with WACE for the pilot, Karima Ranji (University of Victoria, Canada ) and Shabnam (Shay) Ivkovic (University of Waterloo, Canada) for delivering the cultural intelligence training and to staff at Practera for their great support in delivering this successful program.

More information about the pilot can be viewed here.

Interested in your institution participating in future programs?
Contact:  Judie Kay 

International Finance Corp logo


The World Association of Co-operative Education (WACE) has partnered with edtech startup Practera to launch a Global Challenge student-industry project program.

The program will activate a global network of WACE Universities to help organisations of all kinds to advance initiatives aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Through Practera’s platform, global student multi disciplinary teams will undertake online projects to help Business, Government & Community organisations identify practical ‘Shared Value’ initiatives to create social, environmental & economic value.

This partnership builds on the  success of the WACE Global Student Collaborative Projects’ (WGSCP) program in 2020 which connected students from 9 WACE Institutional members from 8 countries in a transnational project experience.

Two programs are currently planned for 2021 : one in June and another in November. Each program will include cultural intelligence training, a 3-week industry project and a reflection and presentation component. A five week program in total. More information about the program , timelines, fees and commitment will be available shortly . Information sessions across several time zones are planned for April 20th 2021 .

For more information and to register your institution for the information session   https://waceinc.org/global-challenge/

If you have any questions please contact Judie Kay programspartnerhsipsvc@waceince.org


International Finance Corp logo
The European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) is hosting a virtual book launch event for the upcoming publication “Applications of Work Integrated Learning Among Gen Z and Gen Y Students”.  There are chapter contributions from many countries including Australia, USA, Italy, France, Cyprus, UK, Canada, and India and by several WACE members (See conference outline here). There is also a contribution from WACE  regarding the development and launch of the WACE Global CWIE Charter and work integrated learning’s role with respect to addressing inter-generational challenges in the workplace. WACE  Charter Vice Chair Dr. Nancy Johnston will also be interviewed regarding the WACE community and the role of the WACE CWIE Charter in advancing international work integrated learning around the world.

The conference will be duplicated on 29 April from 0900-1200 (BST), and again at 1700-2000 (BST) to allow for participation from different time zones. Attendees can register their attendance free-of-charge on the conference website here.


International Finance Corp logo


Overview of AIMS

Founded in 2003, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a pan-African network of centres of excellence for innovative scientific training, technical advances and breakthrough discoveries and public engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Through the Next Einstein Initiative, AIMS’s ecosystem continues to be expanded across Africa with centres in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon and Rwanda, as well as chapters in Canada and Europe. AIMS’s mission is to enable Africa’s brightest students to flourish as independent thinkers, problem solvers and innovators capable of propelling Africa’s future scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency.
AIMS has trained over 2,200 young Africans, representing 43 African countries and 32% women in mathematical sciences. AIMS continues to develop capacities in STEM on the continent by training the next generation of African leaders in education, research and industry. To strengthen the employability skills of young Africans, AIMS has designed and successfully implemented several work-integrated learning (WIL), entrepreneurship and innovation programs across the network including the Cooperative Master program at AIMS centres in Cameroon, Rwanda and Senegal. In collaboration with the University of Waterloo and the University of Ottawa (Canada), AIMS hosted the first African Work-Integrated Learning Institute in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2019.

AIMS role in work-integrated learning

According to the African Development Bank, Africa’s youth population is expected to double by 2050. Yet the majority of African youth lack adequate employment opportunities. Out of the continent’s estimated 450 million young people, approximately one third are unemployed, another third are vulnerable to unemployment, and only one in six receive wage-based employment.

Against this background, the world faces a ‘new normal’ imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a multifaceted crisis with serious consequences. It is evident that this pandemic continues to destroy hundreds of millions of jobs around the world with severe consequences for the most vulnerable groups such as youth and women and Africa is no exception.

Like youth in other parts of the world, young Africans with less professional work experience and those entering the labour market are not spared by these challenges. They indeed face more serious threats regarding their professional integration in this period of global crisis. With such alarming statistics and uncertain future prospects for the most vulnerable groups, COVID-19 also forces academic institutions like AIMS to reflect on better strategies to adapt their work-integrated learning (WIL) programs to this emerging context.

AIMS WIL programs are designed and implemented through strategic partnerships with academia, public and private sector organizations, as well as industry stakeholders. This offers AIMS an opportunity to be the continental voice for postgraduate training in STEM that contributes to global conversations about WIL.  By leveraging its innovative scientific training model, AIMS uses WIL as a framework to align its postgraduate training and research programs with industry needs and job market dynamics. AIMS seeks to provide its students and alumni with hands-on experience by leveraging STEM to address key industry and research challenges. Such opportunities facilitate the transition to employment for AIMS graduates, many of whom have become inclined to pursue professional careers in industry.

For more information on AIMS visit their website or watch their video on the Key highlights from the WIL workshop.


International Finance Corp logo


WACE brings together national associations from across the world regularly to share practice, research and strategy.



After an unprecedented year for WIL, 2021 is the year of consolidation for ACEN. We are continuing our programs, taking every opportunity to connect with our membership, and deepening partnerships with national research centres and higher education associations that contribute to the WIL agenda so that together we advocate for a WIL fit for the future.

Here are our latest news and upcoming events. You can read our archived ACEN newsletters here:

Franziska Trede
President, ACEN



Happy New Year from Canada! A lot has been happening since we last updated the WACE Community! In February, we celebrated Black History month and the theme in Canada this year was The Future is Now, which is the opportunity to acknowledge the transformative work that Black Canadians and their communities are doing across Canada. CEWIL Canada would like to acknowledge all our Black colleagues in the WIL community that provide leadership and day to day support for the students and partners in their communities to make a difference in the lives of learners across their country.
In some very exciting news, CEWIL is building our staffing compliment to support the successful securing of a large government grant we received news of at the beginning of January.  Due to this, in February, we welcomed Charlene Marion, our Director, WIL to CEWIL! Charlene comes to us from Bishop’s University, where she has developed a strong background in WIL through her roles in leading experiential education there. Charlene has hit the ground running to operationalize the iHub project! We have successfully launched a first round of funding and have recently shared second call for Post-Secondary Institutions in Canada to apply to, in order to create innovative WIL opportunity for students. The iHub is a project funded in part by the Federal Government and you can learn more about it by visiting our website – official announcements will be coming soon!

Our CEWIL committees continue to impress with the immense amount of engaging work they are doing! A huge kudos to our Communications Committee which is currently champing our second Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Month for March.  We also invite our global partners to celebrate with us on our newly designated National Day of WIL on March 24th, 2021! The theme for Co-op & WIL months is #innovativeWIL and we hope you will join in sharing the various innovations from your own associations!

As we continue to navigate through the many waves of COVID, the Accreditation Council has updated their statement on flexibility on accreditation as it pertains to the pandemic (see website). CEWIL’s Quality Council continues to support the expansion of all types of WIL with tools and guides made available through a variety of funding opportunities – we will soon have a certified WIL practitioner certificate and increased industry resources.  Lastly, the 2022 National Conference Committee is set to deliver programming that was disrupted by the pandemic and registration for those sessions can be found on our website.

It has been almost one year that we very quickly came together as a community to support WIL under a global pandemic. My hope for all of us is that we reflect on what we have learned, what we have experienced as individuals and as a community, to make our work, our lives, and the future of our community and those we serve, a better place. As we work towards building a new way of life after the pandemic, may we all take a moment to pause and think of the lives that have been lost. And intentionally build towards a future for those that we do our work for, both in our professional and personal lives. It has been a difficult year and it has been CEWIL’s pleasure to work alongside WACE and the other national associations and all of the colleagues.

Cara Krezek
Interim CEO, CEWIL Canada


Thai Association fo Cooperative Education


1. TACE in collaboration with Thailand’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) has been developing intensive training programmes for all parties involved in CWIE provision in the country. Those programmes include:

  1. Training for academic supervisors and those with a supervisory role
  2. Training for administrators in higher education institutions and workplaces
  3. Training for administrative staff in higher education institutions and workplaces
  4. Training for core CWIE trainers.

The pilot programmes for these trainings will be delivered in early May 2021 in a blended learning mode comprising online lessons and activities and face-to-face training session.

2. TACE in collaboration with and through the support from MHESI is organising the 11th Thai CWIE Day on June 6th, 2021. This year, Suranaree University of Technology (SUT), the birthplace of cooperative education in Thailand, is hosting this annual national event with a variety of activities. Apart from the awarding session for outstanding CWIE students, academic supervisors, workplace mentors, universities, and workplaces of the year, there will be a series of keynote presentations, including

‘In quest for the education of future talent: Academic excellence meeting experiential excellence’ by Professor Dr Feridun Hamdullahpur, President of the University of Waterloo, Canada.

‘Reinventing CWIE in Thailand’ by Professor Dr Wichit Srisa-an, President of TACE, and

‘Thailand’s CWIE Platform and the goals for development’ by Dr Aurasa Pavavimol, advisor to the MHESI minister.

Formerly called ‘Thai Cooperative Education Day’, the new title of the event reflects the increased significance of CWIE in the country. Stipulated in the Higher Education Act of 2019, CWIE is regarded as a crucial mechanism that is fostered through a close collaboration between higher education institutions, agencies in the government and private sectors, as well as the industry in order to enhance the quality of education and enrich the students with real work experience. The CWIE Platform established by MHESI will serve the implementation of this mechanism and ensure the achievement of the goals for CWIE development.

Dr Attit Koonsrisuk, TACE


WIL New Zealand


New Zealand was lucky enough to have a great Covid free summer break, with everyone able to enjoy socialising and travelling around the country. WILNZ was well into the planning for their annual conference in Hamilton to occur face to face.  However, recently this all changed with a few Covid cases occur in the community. Because of this, WILNZ has decided to move to a ‘Virtual conference’, to be held on April 29th and 30th. This now opens up the opportunity for others from around the globe to join with us for this event.  We hope you can join us. For more details, see the WILNZ website www.wilnz.nz  or email info@nzace.ac.nz.

Congratulations to Professor Andy Martin, one of the WILNZ Board members, who was recently awarded a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. This is a great recognition of Andy’s contribution to both WIL and Sport Education over many years. Well deserved, Andy!

Jenny Fleming
President, WILNZ


International Research Community


International Book Launch Conference on Work-Integrated Learning – April 29th
The new publication, Applications of Work Integrated Learning Among Gen Z and Y Students, contains 13 chapters from practitioners from the US, Canada, UK, Italy, France, Cyprus, India and Australia. The anticipated publication will be complemented with a virtual conference on 29 April, conference website here.

From LINA at University West

  • University West is celebrating 30 years of WIL.
  • PhD students are welcome to apply for a summer school in activity theory with Engeström, Sannino, Spinuzzi, Karanasios, Allen. More details available here.
  • There are a number of upcoming LINA webinars, some in Swedish, some in English. Also, save the dates for VILÄR, being held December 9-10, 2021.

From CEWIL Canada Research Committee

  • CEWIL Canada’s annual research grant is accepting submissions; deadline is April 29th.
  • Dr. Graham Branton award for research in co-op and work-integrated learning was awarded to Dr. Judene Pretti at the organization’s virtual AGM in December.

Resources for WIL educators and researchers

Presentations for WACE Virtual Conference in May 2021
A big thank you to members of the WACE International Research Community who were involved last year in reviewing papers for the Limerick conference. Those papers were invited to present at the virtual conference being hosted in May 11-13,  2021.

Executive committee

Dr. Judene Pretti

Executive Chair – Dr. Judene Pretti
Past-Executive Chair – Dr. Norah McRae
Chair Communications – Dr. Kylie Twyford
Regional Vice-Chair, Africa – Dr. Roelien Brink
Regional Vice-Chair, Americas – TBC
Regional Vice-Chair, Asia – Dr. Yasushi Tanaka
Regional Vice-Chair, Europe – Dr. Kristina Johansson
Regional Vice-Chair, Oceania – Dr. Karsten Zegwaard
Co-Chairs, Grants and Awards – Dr. Antoine Pennaforte and Dr. Jenny Fleming
Co-Chairs, Development – Ms. Judie Kay and Dr. James Stellar



IJWIL has published most of Volume 22, Issue 1, with a few more articles to be published shortly.
The latest issue has articles covering:

  • self-identity and self-interest in career shaping
  • feedback within WIL
  • WIL ecosystems
  • competing stakeholder understandings
  • authentic assessment
  • using recovery camps as WIL experiences
  • Interprofessional WIL.

These can be accessed through the IJWIL landing page.

Kind regards and good health,
Dr Karsten Zegwaard, Editor-in-Chief

Dr Judene Pretti, Associate Editor

Dr Anna Rowe, Associate Editor



Future of work after COVID publication

This is the first of three reports from Mc Kinsey Global Institute that examine aspects of the post pandemic economy with this one looking at future of work after COVID-19. Published February 18, 2021, the report can be accessed via this link.


Consider joining WACE as members have access to member-only programmes and discounts for the many events and professional development planned for 2020 / 2021.

Memberships for the next year are now open. Full member benefits, fees and application details are here.



Do you have something you would like to share? A resource, some news, an award or achievement? Would you like to sponsor a WACE event?

If so, please contact the Judie Kay, Vice Chair WACE Partnerships and Programs via: programspartnershipsvc@waceinc.org

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