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Experiential learning in accounting work-integrated learning: a three-way partnership

Evangeline Elijido-Ten (Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)
Louise Kloot (Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 16 March 2015




Work-integrated learning (WIL) helps improve the work readiness of accounting graduates. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role played by large and small-to-medium enterprise (SME) employers in providing experiential learning opportunities to accounting students in an Australian higher education context.


Case-study data for this research were collected from the case university’s processes, semi-structured in-depth interviews with employer representatives and online survey with WIL students.


The analysis reveals that both SMEs and large firms provide good training opportunities that enhance the student’s experiential learning particularly when proper WIL structures for pre-placement processes, training, supervision and performance reviews are in place. The results also confirm that WIL is seen as a positive experience by employers and students alike.


There is a three-way partnership between the university, employers and students in a WIL contract. Calls for collaborative research involving all three parties have been made to enhance WIL programs. This study is a response to this call.



The authors are grateful to the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ) for a research grant which made this research possible. They also wish to thank Subhash Abhayawansa, Meropy Barut, Beverley Jackling, Liz Levin and Irene Tempone for their comments on the earlier version of this paper.


Elijido-Ten, E. and Kloot, L. (2015), "Experiential learning in accounting work-integrated learning: a three-way partnership", Education + Training, Vol. 57 No. 2, pp. 204-218.



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