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Developing WIL curriculum which enhances hospitality students capabilities

Janine Williamson (University of South Australia Business School, Adelaide, Australia)
Karina Wardle (University of Western Sydney, Penrith South, Australia)
Hazreel Hasmi (Le Cordon Bleu Australia Pty Ltd, Regency Park, Australia)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 19 August 2020

Issue publication date: 17 June 2021




To satisfy multiple stakeholders’ employability goals, higher education providers have introduced Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programs to provide opportunities for students to develop the required skills. Yet despite this increased focus, gaps in graduate capabilities persist. Thus, the paper explores the roles of educators, industry and students in co-creating WIL curriculum which provides transformative learning experiences.


A survey was designed using the Professional Capability Framework which has been validated in other discipline areas. Mean scores, standard deviation and a one-way ANOVA test were computed to identify gaps between the essential capabilities required for supervisory roles and student's levels of proficiency.


The study highlights the complexity of creating curriculum which meets the needs of multiple stakeholders. The discussion highlights that whilst educators may lead the development of WIL curriculum, without the active engagement of students and industry, gaps in graduates' “work-readiness” will persist. Opportunities for tripartite learning are highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of utilising a convenience sample are acknowledged.

Practical implications

Practical recommendations are provided for industry, educators and students. Areas for future research are identified to understand the roles of multiple stakeholders in the development of the future hospitality workforces.


The study is the first to apply the Professional Capability Framework in a hospitality context. The study further contributes implications in relation to curriculum design and identifies opportunities for transformative learning for educators, industry and students'.



This project was funded by Le Cordon Bleu and University of South Australia Research Grants Scheme.


Williamson, J., Wardle, K. and Hasmi, H. (2021), "Developing WIL curriculum which enhances hospitality students capabilities", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 635-648.



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Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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