The WEXHE project has finished its outcomes, which are now made available to all (potential) users of Work-Based Learning (WBL). See the part on Resources on this Website. All materials – relevant for all disciplinary sectors – can be downloaded for wider distribution.

The materials involve WEXHE Packages for the successful implementation and running of three modes of Work-Based Learning: Work Placements (internships / apprenticeships), Traineeships and Entrepreneurship. For each of these modes three comprehensive packages have been developed, which can be accommodated to national and local contexts. Regarding Work Placements the following distinction is made, which represents different levels of application: (1) Integrated Approach, (2) Clearing House / Intermediary Approach and (3) Corporate Approach. Also for Traineeships, meant as bridging programmes between the higher education degree and the workplace, three WEXHE Packages have been prepared: Traineeship Packages for (1) Higher Education Institutions, (2) Small and Medium Sized Companies and (3) Governments, Governmental Agencies and NGO’s. Finally three WEXHE Packages have been defined to cover three different types of entrepreneurship: (1) the Promotion Approach, (2) the Business Creation Approach and (3) the Innovation Enhancement Approach (Intrapreneurship). To show the differences between the packages in a nut shell, three WEXHE Summary Reports have been published, covering respectively work placements, traineeships and entrepreneurship.

These documents are supported by a number of additional WEXHE Papers. For work placements an implementation model has been developed, which offers guidance how to set up and organize these, but also how to decide the student workload in terms of ECTS credits and how to apply quality assurance mechanisms. The document is entitled TEN STEPS. Setting-up, validating and evaluating work-based learning modules and work experience using ECTS-credits. Regarding Quality Assurance (QA) in WBL the project prepared two papers. The first one, entitled Quality Assurance and Work-Based Learning. A Report for the WEXHE Alliance offers an inventory of the state of affairs of QA for WBL in Europe. The second one, entitled Filling the Gap. Defining a Robust Quality Assurance Model for Work-Based Learning in Higher Education gouv offers guidance how to apply QA in WBL in HE degree programmes.


EURASHE, together with its WEXHE project’s partners, ENQA, UIIN and the University of Groningen, organized the workshop “Enhancing Work-Based Learning and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education”, which took place on 9 October 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. Watch our short video clips from the event, with our partners taking the stage to describe the vision of the project and its accomplishments so far.

Anaïs Gourdin from the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) explains their role in analyzing all the aspects of Quality Assurance in Work-Based Learning, working together with QA agencies to help them identify quality standards and criteria in the evaluation of WBL degrees.

Robert Wagenaar from the University of Groningen outlines the main outcomes of the WEXHE project towards a better integration of work-based learning and entrepreneurship experiences in Higher Education programmes.


Stay updated with WEXHE Journal!
We want to keep you updated with our bi-annual journal, dedicated to showcase project outputs and further explore the work-based learning (WBL) landscape in Europe. Check the previous issues and access the WEXHE Journal in full

WEXHE Project


Why WEXHE Project?

EU countries have experienced a substantial increase in graduate unemployment and a decrease of quality of their employment. European graduates report continuously that they are worried about their careers, while employers voice their concerns over increasing difficulties in finding graduates with matching skills.

Within this context, the WEXHE project responds to the concerns expressed by stakeholders on the shortcomings in the labour market orientation of HE, focusing on the balance between practical and theoretical learning in HE and to mismatches between the skills sets of graduates and the skills they require during early careers.

What has WEXHE achieved during its lifetime?

In the WEXHE project, enterprises, associations and universities come together to identify and analyse current provision of work experience and entrepreneurship in HE in 7 different European countries.

The team has generated 77 case studies of good practice including all four types of study areas (hard-pure, e.g. natural sciences; soft-pure, e.g. humanities and social sciences; hard-applied, e.g. medicine and soft-applied, e.g. social work, covering internships/work placements, traineeships and entrepreneurships.

Working with practitioners, the project has created 9 replicable models for work experience and entrepreneurship, together with guidance on management, quality assurance, learning outcomes, funding and accreditation. These models cover and support the 4 study areas and are tailored to national contexts.
There will be a special emphasis on the Humanities for which the transition to the labour market is least transparent and the number of students is considerable.

What have been the goals of the project?

The project team identified three main goals to accomplish:

• To increase the capacity and competences of staff in universities and enterprises to provide high quality work experience and entrepreneurship. To meet this aim nine WEXHE Packages has been prepared covering the three modes of WBL: placements, traineeships and entrepreneurship;

• To support the accreditation of all kinds of work experience through ECTS and effective quality assurance. This has resulted in the papers TEN STEPS. Setting-up, validating and evaluating work-based learning modules and work experience using ECTS-credits focusing on work placements and FILLING THE GAP. Defining a Robust Quality Assurance Model for Work-Based Learning in Higher Education:

• To ensure that the skills needs of employers are understood. The project has reviewed existing policy development and supports further policy development in this field. For this purpose it has prepared A Policy Note of the WEXHE Project.

Project Consortium

WEXHE Project contains a mixture of HEIs, SMEs, social partners and membership organisations to ensure main stakeholders are engaged and collaboratively shape and disseminate the outcomes and build capacity.

University of Groningen


The University of Groningen (1614) is a research-intensive university with a global outlook. Quality has had top priority for four hundred years: the University is in the top 100 of the most influential ranking lists. It holds currently 30,000 students and 5600 staff members from home and abroad. Talent is nurtured, enabling the University to bridge the gap between science and society. The University is committed to actively collaborating with the social partners, with a special focus on the research themes Healthy Aging, Energy and Sustainable Society. It is distinguished by the close link the University has forged between research and teaching, a bond that does justice to their interdependence. Students from every continent prepare themselves in Groningen for their international career paths.

Role of RUG in the project

The University of Groningen will act as the overall coordinator of the project. It has a long standing tradition and good reputation in coordinating large scale project both in teaching and learning and research. Relevant here are in particular the projects and tenders which were developed and coordinated in the framework of the Tuning projects since the year 2000. These involved many persons, institutions and organisations from all over Europe and beyond.

Studenten in Groningen, Netherlands op 18 June, 2009. (Photo by Michel de Groot)
Groningen is responsible in particular for the Work Package 1. Management. It will also oversee progress made in the other packages. The units involved are in particular the International Tuning Academy and the Placement and Career Office of the Faculty of Arts, which has more than 25 years of experience. Groningen will also play a central role in the sub project / demonstration project 1. Valorisation of work experience in higher education. This role will be based on the experiences with a recent university initiative: Career Services, which offers careers advice before, during and after obtaining the degree. Its aim is to offer students the best possible facilities to prepare and develop their careers.

Within the framework of Career Services, various activities are organized to help students make choices – study choices in particular – and prepare them for the job market. In order to achieve this, Career Services is working actively with faculties, study associations, alumni organizations and other providers in the field of careers services.

Project Team

Robert Wagenaar, Project Coordinator
Tel: + 31 50 363 5176

Ingrid van der Meer, Project Manager
Tel: + 31 50 363 6059

Esther Haag, Coordinator Career Strategy, Faculty of Arts
Tel: + 31 50 363 5844

Yvonne Jordens-Streng, Head Career Services and Corporate Relations
Tel: + 31 50 363 8066

Anna Silvius, Research Assistant

University of Warwick


The University of Warwick is one of the UK’s leading universities, with an acknowledged reputation for excellence in research and teaching, for innovation, and for links with business and industry. Currently, about 25,000 students are enrolled at Warwick, of whom about 8,000 are international.

Role of University of Warwick in the Project

The University of Warwick is the lead partner of WP 5.

It will coordinate the organisation of 1-2 national workshops in 7 countries “Training trainers and teachers from companies and HE” with 20+ participants by HEIs, Chambers and NOVATEX/Chamber Cyprus.

Furthermore, 2 international workshops will be organized for work experience (Warwick) and entrepreneurships (Münster). Warwick will create steering material for all and will edit the report on experiences.

The University of Warwick will be involved in all of the other work packages and will draw on its extensive networks to identify good practice in the UK and beyond. It will contribute to the production of reports and other deliverables and contribute to collective decision making processes.

Project Team

Barbara Merrill, Project Manager
Scott Revers, Research Fellow
Gill Frigerio
Will Curtis
Michele Archer

University of Ljubljana


The University of Ljubljana is a public autonomous educational, research and artistic HE institution with a very rich tradition. It was established in 1919 and currently encompasses 23 faculties and 3 art academies. UL ranks among the top 400 universities according to the ARWU Shanghai ranking and among the top 3% Universities in the world according the Times ranking.

Role of University of Ljubljana in the Project

The University of Ljubljana (UL) is the lead partner of WP 4 which focuses on the creation of replicable programmes / modules for internship / traineeship and entrepreneurship. In this work package UL will give lead to the activities, which involves all other partners, in particular, the four universities, the 2 Chambers and NOVATEX for making the first drafts of the modules. UL is also fully involved in all other work packages, in particular WP3.

UL will support and provide the reports and deliverables, in accordance with decision-making processes and conflict resolution scheme. The staff involved in IEWEXHE is working closely with several departments within the Institute of Social Sciences. In many of these centres there is a special emphasis on the education system, employment and social partnerships – in particular on the interaction between the macro-systemic and micro-institutional levels.

Project Team

Assoc. Prof. dr. Tomaž Deželan
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Samo Pavlin
Prof. dr. Ivan Svetlik
Assist. Miha Zimšek

Münster University of Applied Sciences


The S2BMRC is an integral part of the Münster School of Business at Münster
University of Applied Sciences in Germany. Acting globally, the S2BMRC with its concept of Science-to-Business Marketing is a world leading centre dedicated to interactions between science and business. Since its inception in 2002, the centre has substantially further developed the methodologies of Science-to-Business Marketing and University-Business Cooperation (UBC), whilst also making unique contributions to related fields such as Entrepreneurial Universities, Technology Transfer, research Commercialisation and Innovation and Business Development in higher education institutions.

Role of S2BMRC in the Project

In the IEWEXHE project S2BMRC will coordinate WP3 Investigation. It will coordinate the activities of the universities, the Chambers of Commerce and NOVATEX involved to develop 12 case studies each covering placements, traineeships and entrepreneurships. It will also be involved in all other WPs. It has a special role in WP 5 Capacity Building where it is expected to organise and implement a one-week workshop for training the trainers focusing on entrepreneurship. The Center has its own conference series and a large newsletter database to support the dissemination of the results.

Project Team

Prof. Dr. Thomas Baaken

Balzhan Orazbayeva

André Perusso

Novatex Solutions Ltd


NOVATEX SOLUTIONS Ltd was established in 1999. The company employs highly qualified technical and scientific staff, and supports academia and they industry by offering high quality products for use in engineering labs and research organisations. It also offer the same high quality products and services to private companies, government agencies, research institutes and industry along with consultation services for complete solutions. These products and solutions are innovative and they are the result of close collaboration with universities and feedback from industry. Novatex was among the first companies in Cyprus that collaborated with universities in joint research projects either as partner or coordinator.

Role of NOVATEX in the Project

Novatex Solutions Ltd will mainly contribute in the identification, selection and description of examples of excellent practices (including placements in its company) or which it has information on: placement/internship, traineeship and entrepreneurship. These will be used as references for the case studies to be implemented by other partners. They will provide advice on the integrated models that will be prepared on the basis of the examples of excellence and the case studies. Moreover, Novatex Solutions LTD will test models for offering internships/placements, trainees and assisting entrepreneurship and also raise awareness about the outcomes of the project when and if appropriate to all interested and involved parties. Thus Novatex Solutions will not only help in the identification of best practices but it will also help to create the models (from its own perspective) and informing all necessary to get involved to apply these models.

Project Management

George Georgiou
Tel: +35722462920
Fax: +35722462921

University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN)


The University Industry Innovation Network’s (UIIN) mission is to exploit the full value of collaboration and cooperation (open innovation), ultimately making an impact to academia, business and society. UIIN was founded in 2012 and is a dynamic network of academics, practitioners and business professionals focused on establishing and improving relationships between education and industry. With more than 200 members from 25+ countries, UIIN has advanced to a leading European network dedicated to fostering support structures for university-industry interaction, entrepreneurial universities and collaborative innovation.

Role of UIIN in the Project

UIIN will be the lead partner of WP7 and it will take a lead for the dissemination and exploitation of the project and its results. With access to key contacts in academia and industry, and with various communication and distribution channels reaching a large variety of European stakeholders, UIIN will ensure that the value created (e.g. the new programmes) will also be exploited (e.g. implementation of the programmes). Key activities of UIIN include planning activities (e.g. dissemination, exploitation and sustainability plan), preparation activities (e.g. corporate design, promotional material and further extension of existing contact databases) and implementation activities (e.g. communication, events, agreements).

Besides the dissemination and exploitation focus, UIIN will put special emphasis on creating a dynamic environment for the topic of work-based learning/work experience so that the results and the project idea of fostering work-based learning will be further developed by those passionate about the topic (goal: sustainability). Besides its role as the lead partner of WP7, UIIN will support the other WPs by integrating a broader perspective as well as bringing in key contacts which can contribute to executing the different activities, and finally making the impact which the project aims to make.

Project Team

Arno Meerman, Project Manager

Hacer Tercanli, Project Officer

Chamber of Commerce of Spain


The Chamber of Commerce of Spain is a public law entity, with its own legal status (Law 4/14), and with full capacity to operate in order to carry out its activities. It acts as intermediary between the private sector and the national government, coordinates the actions and initiatives of the Chamber of Commerce networks and fosters relations between them.

Role of the Organisation in the Project

The Chamber of Commerce of Spain will have the role throughout project to represent the business activity perspective. This is important as the project aims to enhance the relationship between higher education and appropriate employment. The institution will provide the practical experience that relates with the interaction between education and employability and the institutional contact with government and the business sector in all the working packages (WP). More specifically the Chamber of Spain will in the framework of WP 3 develop 12 case studies related to work placements, traineeships and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, it will play an important role in developing, analysing and evaluating the so-called 12 integrated modules from the business perspective. It will also assist the Polish Chamber in WP8 Evaluation.

In the framework of WP 5 Capacity Building it will organise 1 to 2 national Training the Trainers workshop which is also intended to promote policy making in work-based learning.

Project Team

Raúl Mínguez

Manuel Valero

Elia Retamosa

Polish Chamber of Commerce (PCC)


The Polish Chamber of Commerce (PCC), founded in 1990, is the largest economic self-government institution in Poland. It includes over 150 business organizations. PCC’s mission is to establish and develop strong economic self-government institution and to support Polish entrepreneurs on both Polish and integrated EU market.

Role of the Organisation in the Project

The Polish Chamber of Commerce will coordinate WP8 with support of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce. It will most of all represent the business activity perspective in the IEWEXHE project. This is important as the project aims to enhance the relationship between higher education and appropriate employment. PCC will provide the practical experience that relates with the interaction between education and employability and the institutional contact with government and the business sector during all the working packages (WPs). More specifically PCC will in the framework of WP 3 develop 12 case studies related to placement, traineeships and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, it will play an important role in developing, analysing and evaluating the so-called 9 integrated modules from the business perspective (WP4).

In the framework of WP 5 Capacity Building it will organise 1 to 2 national Training the Trainers workshop which is also intended to promote policy making in work-based learning.

Project Team

Mieczysław Bąk
Agnieszka Buze
Katarzyna Dworznik
Przemysław Ruchlicki

European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA)


The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) is a voluntary association of European QA agencies which aims to contribute significantly to the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of European higher education and to act as a major driving force for the development of quality assurance across all the Bologna signatory countries. ENQA disseminates information, experiences, and good practices in the field of quality assurance in higher education to European QA agencies, public authorities, and higher education institutions.

Role of ENQA in the Project

ENQA will lead WEXHE’s work package 2 on “internal quality assurance” by coordinating with the other partners, preparing periodic QA reports, coordinating the steering group, managing the coordination between the steering committee and the coordinator, and by ensuring that the final QA reports are ready for submission to the EACEA. ENQA will also undertake the task of mapping the state of the art of work-based learning in relation to quality assurance. Within this perspective, ENQA will prepare a survey addressed to its membership and conduct qualitative analysis including case studies and targeted interviews, the overall findings of which will feed into a report. Furthermore, ENQA will take part in the dissemination activities of the project by supporting the project web page with relevant input, supporting the WEXHE e-journal, participating in promotional events, and supporting the dissemination of the project and its results at the European level and through its members, for example, at an international workshop organised by ENQA. Finally, ENQA will take part in various project meetings/events and contribute to the financial and administrative management of the project by providing necessary input and information for the midterm and final reports and when requested.

Project Team

Lindsey Kerber, Project and Administrative Officer

Anaïs Gourdin, Project and Finance Officer

European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE)


EURASHE is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education that offer professionally-orientated programmes and are engaged in applied and profession-related research within the Bologna cycles. The mission of EURASHE is to promote the interests of professional higher education in EHEA.

Role of EURASHE in the Project

In the IEWEXHE project EURASHE will perform the role of the full partner and it will coordinate WP9 Policy Making. Besides contributing to work packages 3 and 4, a strong focus will be given to coordination of policy development in work experience. The strong position of EURASHE within the EU policy area linked to higher education provides the organisation experience to perform this task, first of all researching existing policy in relation to the development of work experience in higher education and then mapping out ways forward for policy development, particular at the European level. EURASHE will support the work of national partners, researching policy development and mapping the way forward. Following the national consultations, EURASHE will organise as part of WP5 Capacity Building, a European event in Brussels, involving EU stakeholders and policy makers from the organisational and institutional level.

Finally, EURASHE will ensure the involvement of students and students’ representatives in the project in Integrating Entrepreneurship and Work Experience into Higher Education in order to have a full picture and involvement of all the stakeholders.

Project Team

Michal Karpišek, EURASHE Secretary General

Vaidotas Viliunas, Project Coordinator

Iskren Kirilov, Policy Expert

Elsa Predour, Project Officer

Marketing Material


WEXHE Brochure


Welcome to the WEXHE Platform: We believe we have developed some valuable Work Based Learning (WBL) resources for a number of societal stakeholders, to help launch and improve offerings in Traineeships, Work Placements and Entrepreneurship.

On this platform you will find the major outputs of the project, which include the collection of reports, case studies and audio/ video resources categorised under the three modes of WBL. Our collection of resources aims to provide guidelines for not only Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) but also SMEs, and Governmental & Non-Governmental Organisations, and NGOs.


WEXHE Case Study Collection

The WEXHE Case Study Collection Booklet provides an overview of 21 case studies developed by the project teams from seven project partner countries – Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia, UK, Spain, Poland, and Cyprus, categorised in three chapters according to the mode of WBL they are representing. Each chapter starts with a short description of the mode of WBL in focus, along with further sub-categories of the mode that might help the readers to match with the case studies that follow.

The articles selected for the overview have been prepared for online publication in the form of blog articles, and do not have a direct link to the case studies themselves. The original reports are currently in the status of work in progress. Thus, if you would like to have further information on any of our case studies, please do not hesitate to contact us, through the UIIN or the University of Groningen teams.

You can download the book from the following link: WEXHE Good Practice Case Study Collection

Quality Assurance and WBL

Quality Assurance of Work-Based Learning in the European Higher Education Sector

The result of ENQA’s (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) large-scale survey on the status of quality assurance (QA) of work-based learning (WBL) within the context of the European higher education (HE) sector is out.

The 2018 report shows that there is no single unified approach across Europe as practices vary significantly from country to country depending on national legislation, development of QA agencies, and the field of study. The report also revealed that the concept of WBL is still being predominantly used in the vocational education and training (VET) sector and that its conceptualization as well as application within HE is largely lacking.

The aim of the study was to identify the role external QA agencies are playing, if any, in terms of guiding and assessing the integration of WBL into educational programs of HEIs in Europe. Survey responses were collected from 40 QA agencies operating in 26 European and Asian countries.

Please see the report in the link: ENQA report on QA in WBL

Filling the Gap – Defining a Robust Quality Assurance Model for Work-Based Learning in Higher Education

This highly welcomed paper focusses on the recognition and quality assurance mechanisms related to modes of WBL, in particular placements. When discussing quality assurance, process and content related aspects should be distinguished. Content – development of subject specific and generic competences – can be phrased in terms of whether the evidence – the intended level of learning – is actually offered. A well-defined process for quality enhancement and assurance is perceived as a requirement to build trust and confidence. It checks whether the conditions for learning are up to standard. Both – conditions and level of learning – are key ingredients for recognition. The paper, which is aligned with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), answers the question which elements are thought necessary to build a robust and reliable quality assurance model for WBL.

Please see the report in the link: Filling the Gap – Defining a Robust Quality Assurance Model for Work-Based Learning in Higher Education

National Literature Reviews



Other WBL Resources

Ten Steps – Setting-up, validating and evaluating work-based learning modules and work experience using ECTS-credits focussing on work placements

Strategic Paper From WBL Cases to Applicable Packages

Stay informed

e-WEXHE Journal






Warwick Students Go Creative: a Study Module that Unlocks Entrepreneurial Potential

Creative Business Project is an optional module introduced as part of a Master program at the Centre for Culture and Media Studies of University of Warwick. The module allows students to apply their knowledge and gain experience by working directly with the staff of a creative or media organization. Though rooted in the sphere of creativity and arts, the module is primarily related to business planning, product design, marketing as well as strategy development.

The structure of the module

Creative Business Project is a 10-week module. The work on the module is carried out in a student team that helps a ‘client’ company to find a strategic solution to a challenge they face. The Project has 3 parts:

Part 1: Preparation

Preparation begins at the university and then continues at a client company. First, students are encouraged to do a detailed company background check, what will help them respond adequately to the requirements of an upcoming briefing session. Next, students learn how to develop basic skills to become reflective practitioners. Such skills are perceived as crucial for self-assessment and prepare students for group work. After visiting the ‘client’ company premises, meeting their staff and receiving the project briefs, students are introduced with the concept of group dynamics through a series of practical exercises. The exercises are designed in the way to let students explore an impact they can make on their team and the final outcome of the project. The preparation phase is rounded up with team tutorials when students design a strategy for the final assignment.

Part 2: Implementation

Within the next 5 weeks, students work on their project focusing on its content and their role as a team member. They maintain close contact with their ‘client’ company and receive tutorial support from their university.

Part 3: Delivery and reflection

The module is wrapped up with a presentation, delivered to the ‘client’ company, that accounts for 60% of the module assessment. Student teams receive feedback from the company representatives, which is later on incorporated into the individual assignment. The final assignment is a reflection paper in which students trace back their practical learning experience and management issues to theories and concepts that had been studied before. The reflection paper constitutes the remaining 40% of the module assessment.

The impact of the module

The impact of the module satisfies the needs of all involved stakeholders, namely the Centre for Culture and Media Studies, their students, and participating ‘client’ companies.

For the Center, constant active search for the ‘client’ companies, that would host their students, results in a broader network of external partners. For now, these partners include BBC Worldwide, GfK NOP Media, Momentum Pictures , Warwick Arts Centre, the BBC Technology Direction team, Maverick TV, All3 Media International, and the Association of Independent Music, etc. For students, such a module adds to their CVs, but most importantly, to their confidence, competitiveness and entrepreneurial attitude – well sought after traits on a contemporary labour market. And, finally, for the ‘client’ companies, student recommendations serve as a kick-off point for a change to be implemented within these organisations.

Reflections on the WEXHE Warwick Workshop: How to Set Up Work Placements and Traineeships

Work-based learning (WBL) in the form of work placements and traineeships (WPT) provide an important source of skills and competency enhancement in a HE environment increasingly concerned with satisfying both the needs of students to be prepared for the workplace as well as the expectations of their future employers. However, work placements and traineeships can be a challenge to set-up, maintain, and innovate successfully within HE.

To respond to this concern, WEXHE Project invited academic staff from different backgrounds across Europe to join a four-day workshop (21-24 May) where they were introduced to the WBL context in HE together with different strategies and examples of good practice that would help them set-up and reflect on ways to promote these courses within their own country context.

What did the workshop programme include?
The first day of the workshop was primarily orientational and discursive in which participants were introduced to the WEXHE project in terms of aims, objectives and research outcomes. Participants during the day were encouraged to discuss their understanding and experience of WBL together with features of their respective country contexts. This activity was followed by a discussion led by a panel of experts in which employer, academic and careers staff perspectives were explored, reflected on, and responded to by the participants.

The second day began by assessing the background to WBL, particularly with reference to the UK, with a concern to develop an understanding of how the link between theory and practice has been negotiated and developed in the HE sector. This was followed by a presentation illustrating how the bridge between HE and employers has been translated into successful work placements and traineeships both in the UK and across Europe. Finally, participants were both provided and encouraged to practically engage with tools/approaches to designing work-related learning courses in their own respective fields.

During the third day, further examples of placements from broadly contrasting disciplines were presented and explored, evaluating challenges and expectations from student, staff and employer perspectives. Furthermore, examples of different approaches to WBL were presented and engaged with from across Europe including the dual studies approach in Germany and apprenticeships in the UK. Participants were invited to consider the adaptability of these approaches with respect of their own cultural context.

Quality Assurance in WBL arrangements
The final day was dedicated to essential quality assurance procedures and approaches to assessment before coming to a close by looking forwards to the future of WBL in Europe. The former presentations informed and engaged participants regarding guiding principles and assessment criteria from quality assurance agencies across Europe. These were followed by a concluding presentation and discussion that addressed the future of WBL in which participants were invited to consider the challenges ahead in their respective contexts and how the research produced by WEXHE could play a part in WBL development.

How to Create a Learning Environment For Entrepreneurship? Impressions from the WEXHE Munster Workshop

Innovation and entrepreneurship skills are key competencies in post-industrial societies. Consequently, students from all disciplinary areas need to learn how to think and act in an entrepreneurial and innovative way. Yet how to create a learning environment for entrepreneurship?

To answer this question, the WEXHE Project invited 23 academics and managers from different backgrounds to the FH Münster for a four-day workshop (13th to 16th May), where they were introduced to multiple strategies and techniques that can help setting-up their academic activities in a more entrepreneurial way.

The programme flow
The first day was all about inspiration. In the morning, Prof. Todd Davey, from the Institut Mines-Télécom Business School in Paris, introduced participants to the evolution of entrepreneurship education, its context, why is it relevant and, more importantly, how to teach it. In the afternoon, five successful entrepreneurship education cases were presented by the persons who did it, creating great opportunities for questions and answers.

The second day was hands-on. In the morning, participants were introduced to a series of creative thinking tools and techniques, put into practice through engaging group activities facilitated by expert Hanna de Bruin from The Hague University of Applied Sciences. In the afternoon they were given the chance to exercise their creativity by proposing solutions to complex entrepreneurship learning obstacles they faced in their home institutions.

On day-three participants took part on a tour to the FH Munster transfer agency (TAFH) facilities in Steinfurt Campus, where Sally Friedrich introduced the TAFH entrepreneurship support activities. In the afternoon the topic was women and entrepreneurship. Within the framework of the FH Munster Project “Discover the entrepreneur in you” and the EU Project coordinated by the S2B “Women Entrepreneurs in STEM”, Dr Sue Rossano, Claudia Umanzor and Friederike von Hagen introduced participants to the importance of engaging highly educated women in entrepreneurship.

Emphasis on Social Entrepreneurship
In the last day, participants were presented to the importance of social entrepreneurship. Dr Michele Gerbrands and PhD candidate Heleen van Ravenswaaij, from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, showcased the ‘Co-Challange’, a successful example of a social entrepreneurial project conducted by bachelor and master students from the University of Utrecht in connection with the Municipality of Utrecht.

BSEEN: A Kick-off Platform For Young British Entrepreneurs

Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network, or simply BSEEN, is an intensive five-day boot camp for students and graduates who are willing to acquire or hone their business skills. It is a collaborative initiative between Aston University, Birmingham City University, University College Birmingham and Newman University (UK), partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The boot camp offers a comprehensive package of start-up support for new ventures in the form of various workshops, networking opportunities, tailored mentoring, business grants, and office space.

Like any initiative, BSEEN existence is underpinned with a reasonable idea to promote innovation and create networks with regional businesses for advancing local economy. As explained by Professor Helen Higson, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Aston University, ‘entrepreneurship and innovation are key drivers for the region’s economy, and it is important that we encourage young people to consider setting up their own businesses.’ Norman Price, Deputy Chair of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee, chimed in by stating that ‘supporting graduates to develop and start small businesses which in turn will create jobs and ensure we retain valuable skills, are key priorities for the programme.’

Since the programme is regionally oriented, the eligibility criteria limit the pool of applicants to those who study at participating universities and graduates within the last five years from any university in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area (UK).

Boot camp agenda

Initially, applicants submit their BSEEN initiatives online. In the application, they briefly explain their business idea, define start-up costs and its target market, describe how they intend to raise money and what difficulties they anticipate. The authors of the selected initiatives are then invited to pitch their business ideas to a panel made up of two BSEEN representatives and an external assessor.

The boot camp itself lasts 5 days and includes the following stages:

Day one Business planning
Day two Market research and Managing finances
Day three Registering your business
Day four Marketing – Customers & competitors, planning & implementation
Day five Sales

The boot camp is delivered by a range of start-up trainers, or mentors, who are entrepreneurs themselves, and who know the intricacies of the start-up environment. Apart from running numerous workshops, they contribute with their invaluable advice and guidance to inspire students to persist with their business ideas.

Stats to be proud of

BSEEN project saw its launch as a pilot version in 2009, and since then it has gone through several stages of transformation. The impact, it has created, shows that the initiative has made a significant influence on the lives of boot camp attendees and the region where they live.

Participants see their experience in the boot camp as an ‘excellent’ opportunity to learn not only from their mentors, but also from the boot camp alumni, as well as to broaden their network of like-minded people. As described by one of the boot camp graduates, ‘[BSSEN] is a creative sandbox. The level of creative engagement between people … is just mind-blowing.’

Students at the Centre for Medical Simulation Hone Their Professional Skills Free of Life Cost

It is in the nature of medicine, that you are gonna screw up. You are gonna kill someone. If you can’t handle that reality, pick another profession or finish medical school and teach.

— Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), House MD, Season 1: Three Stories

Though harsh, a candid remark by a very-well known and revered TV series character, Dr House, reflects a frightful truth about medical profession – malpractice can cost somebody his life. To limit the errors and mistakes of future medical professionals to a possible minimum, in 2014 Medical University in Lublin launched the Centre for Medical Simulation, where, by trial and error, students practice their decision making in a low-risk environment.

Simulation in Medical Education

Medical education based on simulation has revolutionized the way of teaching medicine. It allows students to make decisions in the circumstances close to a real work setting without putting their patients’ lives under jeopardy. In medicine, training via simulation has become a safer alternative for traditional work-based learning practices, e.g. internships and apprenticeships, especially at the early stage of practical skills acquisition. Apart from eliminating the risks related to patients’ safety, simulation has significant advantages in education per se, i.e. it speeds up the learning process, fosters team work and advances students’ capabilities in addressing critical conditions. The Centre for Medical Simulation in Lublin puts a special focus on developing communication skills among their students, as, according to dismal statistics, only a small proportion of the medical mistakes result from miscommunication.

Simulation Practiced at the Centre in Lublin

How does simulation actually happen? Students assume the role of a medical doctor during a virtual meeting with a patient. The role of the patient is played by an actor, so students can observe specific behavioural patterns, e.g. his temper, mood and attitude. Also the Centre in Lublin uses a so-called ‘hybrid patient’, a real person hooked up to phantom equipment. In case of working with the ‘hybrid patient’, students interview a real patient about his medical history, but provide treatment to a phantom.

Students primarily work in groups assisted by a mentor, and pass all the stages of making a diagnosis and planning a therapeutic process. They apply theory into practice when learning about the most commonly performed clinical procedures, e.g. electrocardiography, ophthalmoscopy, otoscopic exam, digital rectal examination, urinary catheterization, medical history, preparation for surgical procedures, physical examination, medical communication as well as breaking unfortunate news. For the latter, students take a separate course on behavioural ethics in which they learn how to appropriately react to different patients’ behaviour. Skills acquired in the simulation environment allow graduates to start their carriers in medical institutions with greater confidence what is an indispensable asset in medical practice.

Simulation Practice Support

The Centre for Simulation in Lublin and its rather costly practices are sponsored by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland. The Centre has also received numerous EU grants for purchasing the medical equipment.

To keep training programs at the Centre updated, potential employers from stakeholder institutions participate in the University Program Board. The Program Board also provides information on how well graduates do in their professional carrier and what should be changed in the educational process of the Centre to meet the expectation of the employers.

The Centre cooperates with hospitals in Lublin and also other hospitals in the region. Centre’ staff assist hospitals in solving specific medical problems, e.g. related to functioning of the rescue team or assisting hospitals in treating specific pathogens. In return, such cooperation gives the Centre an opportunity to gather information about the expected skills their students need to master.

All Aboard: Maritime Studies Internship Program at Frederick University

Having some practical experience in the portfolio of a freshly graduate student is a must for many hiring employers nowadays. Knowing that, many universities include various work-based learning practices into their programs, e.g. placements, apprenticeships or internships. Frederick University in Cyprus recognizes the importance of hands-on training and offers their maritime students a chance to try themselves both onshore and onboard doing Maritime Studies Internship. The internship is designed for soon-to-be graduates finalizing their 3d year at Frederick University, and is paid by a hosting company.

What are the objectives?

Like in any internship, the main objective of Maritime Studies Internship is to give students a taste of what the real work experience in maritime is. Students gain practical understanding of the procedures and sharpen the skills required in various functions of shipping companies, such as: crew management, liner shipping operations, shipping accounting, port agency, purchasing, logistics and warehouse distribution as well as time and voyage chartering. Learning the procedures in shipping management cannot be visualized or learned via theory, thus the internship can be an opportune environment to observe professionals in action.

Additionally, the internship helps students build and work on their soft skills such as patience, endurance, working under pressure and team work. It is also believed, that the internship offers students an opportunity to show their best so they have a valuable point in their resume upon the internship completion. There is also a chance to be hired by a hosting organization.

How does it work?

The internship takes place in summer and lasts 14 weeks. First, students are placed in a shipping company ashore for two weeks, and then onboard – for approximately 12 weeks.

During the two weeks ashore, students get acquainted with the complexities of managerial duties in the shipping company offices. This includes learning about business administration, financial analysis, exploring maritime regulations and other maritime related issues. During the 12-week onboard, interns dive headful into the procedures that cannot be visualized or learned through theory in business administration.

Each intern must produce evidence of his/her learning experience by completing the Training Record Book whilst onboard. The Training Record Book is generally a reflection paper with the detailed information on the daily activities interns carried out, and what learning gains each task brought to them. The Book is reviewed and signed by the Master, or a designated Training Officer who acts as an onboard supervisor.

Prior the start of the internship, top performing companies of the maritime industry offer internship positions by applying through the career office at Frederick University (all the main Ship Management and Ship Owning companies, like Interorient, Columbia, Bernhard Schulte, Marlow, V Ships Internship, etc.).

What are the gains?

The gains of the Maritime Studies Internship are threefold. First, aspiring students get the chance to be exposed to real projects and master their skills. There is a strong increase in the awareness of business-oriented way of thinking that brings an added value to students’ career paths. Additionally, the fact that there is a proven track record of nearly complete employment provides some young managers with a good kick-start on their way to very promising careers in international trade in shipping companies. Second, for the shipping companies, the internship is a way to spot and hire talented students who have proved themselves reliable and competent to take over a full-time contract. And third, Frederick University maintains and expands the partnership base with the maritime industry what allows it to upgrade its Maritime Studies program according to the requirements of the potential employers of their students.

Training and Workshops

EURASHE workshop Enhancing Work-based learning and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education
EURASHE, together with its WEXHE project’s partners, ENQA, UIIN and the University of Groningen, organized the workshop “Enhancing Work-Based Learning and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education”, which took place on 9 October 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. Watch our short video clips from the event, with our partners taking the stage to describe the vision of the project and its accomplishments so far.

International Workshops
As part of the validation and capacity building activities, the WEXHE project consortium has organised and delivered a series of workshops in the partner countries. 7 National Workshops focused on training the trainers and teachers from companies and HEIs in Cyprus, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK. The first International Workshop titled How to Create a Learning Environment for Entrepeneurship? has taken place in Munster, Germany, followed by the second International Workhop delivered by the Warwick University partners titled Work Placements and Traineeships.

The WEXHE Project invited 23 academics and managers from different backgrounds to the FH Münster for a four-day workshop, between 13th – 16th May, 2019. Organised and delivered by the Science to Business Marketing Research Centre team, the workshop allowed participants to be introduced to multiple strategies and techniques that can help setting-up their academic activities in a more entrepreneurial way.

Workshop I - Entrepreneurship Education
Workshop II - Work Placements and Traineeships

National Workshops

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