Is it the provider’s responsibility to prepare international students for employment?

Panel: Rachael Baron (La Trobe University), Sharon Cook (Monash University), Danny Ong (Deakin University)

The panel session will address the current status of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in Australian universities to provide a broad understanding of the varying definitions of WIL and how students participate in WIL both in Australia and overseas.  In addition, this panel will consider the expectations of internationals students to participate in a WIL experience and the providers responsibility to prepare students for WIL.

The session aims to also explore how ISANA and its members are currently engaging, and providing expertise to the national WIL agenda to support and inform colleagues, research and program development with the overarching goal of benefiting international student and increasing their graduate employment outcomes in Australia, their home countries and third countries.

The panel will utilise key reports and strategy recently published by Universities Australia, ACEN and IEAA to identify the common themes relating to challenges and successes, the impact of the legislation in scaling WIL and barriers to international students’ participation in WIL.  Audience participation and contribution to inform this discussion will be encouraged.


With 20 years in Higher Education, Rachael is an Experiential Learning Advisor in the College Science Health and Engineering (SHE), where she supports and facilitates real-world student internships and professional learning through stakeholder collaboration with subject coordinators, students and Industry partners of La Trobe University.  She provides a range of support and partnership management to a portfolio of WIL subjects in Allied & Public Health, Exercise Science, Sport and Psychology.  She is currently the Deputy Chair for Vic/Tas Chapter of ACEN (Australian Collaborative Education Network). Rachael has taught into and supported WIL across a range of other disciplines including, tourism & hospitality, events management, human resources, marketing, management, law and Service Learning.  Rachael is particularly passionate about international students, and values as well as advocates for diversity and active student engagement. Rachael was involved in the Victorian Chapter of ISANA from 2001 – 2005 in roles such as Branch Secretary and President and recently completed a Master of Education with a major research project on the International Student First Year Experience and Perception of Employability.

Danny coordinates the MBA program at Deakin University, with specific responsibilities in enhancing the candidates’ experiences and building deep industry engagements. He designed the Australia-India Business Forum in 2018, which is a platform for students to demonstrate their intercultural abilities to contribute to the bilateral relationship. The Forum won the Victoria International Education Awards for best international student employability program. Prior to his role at Deakin, he has worked in the areas of international student employability, employment rights, WIL and international projects coordination.

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