Employability initiative

Related strategic goal Goal 1 Game Changing Graduates

Employability at UQ is about empowering students to create change by learning from their experiences. We focus on how students can use their capabilities to perform effectively in the workplace, to create work opportunities, and to make an impact through their work.

Developing student employability is a key strategic priority for UQ and employability development is already a core aspect of University operations.

To provide opportunities for our graduates to develop these qualities, UQ has invested in a multi-faceted and holistic approach to employability that works with stakeholders from industry, funding bodies, students, and other education providers.

The employability-related initiatives implemented under the Student Strategy were designed to complement and grow our existing practices in alignment with UQ’s Employability Framework. These activities were grounded in an experiential learning process and enable students to translate both curricular and extracurricular experiences into employability development.

Key deliverables

The Student Strategy employability initiatives have enabled:

  • An embedded collaborative support model: Deployment of a team of employability experts in partnership with faculties to deliver services that address the employability needs of discipline-specific student cohorts, providing support for experiential learning (extracurricular), career development learning (CDL), and work integrated learning (WIL). This work was, and continues to be, facilitated and supported by:
    • Collaborative agreements between faculties/central units and the Student Employability Centre to effectively implement processes and allocate resources and support for an embedded collaborative model. This collaborative support model not only assists each Faculty in scaling existing priorities, but also fills gaps in service provision to ensure holistic service delivery in relation to employability enhancement. View some of the Faculty initiatives carried out as part of this agreement.
    • Staff capacity building through the development and expansion of communities of practice, professional development for staff, and knowledge networks to enable consistent understanding of employability.
    • UQ Employability Dashboard (in development) to track and report on employability performance metrics and ensure that future developments are evidence-based institution wide.
  • Expansion of short-term global employability experiences: Expansion of existing experiences to widen the opportunity for all students to enhance their employability through experiential learning. The expansion of experiences was, and continues to be, facilitated and supported by:
    • Increase in global internships opportunities through the engagement of third party providers.
    • The provision of grants to support students to undertake a short-term international experience.

Key achievements

From 2018, the Student Employability Centre (SEC) has worked in partnership with faculties to coordinate and deliver discipline-specific Career Development Learning (CDL) and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) services.

These services were delivered via an innovative embedded collaborative model that enabled discipline-specific faculty teams to provide students with context-relevant experiential learning opportunities, connections with industry, and learning supports to enhance their employability.

Career advice, access to WIL placements, and other employability supports and advice have all increased as a result of this embedded collaborative approach. Faculty based initiatives have also increased the availability of, and access to, discipline-specific services such as inter-professional education, new courses to support employability enhancement, career-specific pathways, and student experiential learning academies and programs.

Short-term global employability experiences have also been expanded, to widen the opportunity for all students to study, volunteer or work overseas.

  • Careers Advice: 220% increase in online resource engagement projected in 2019 over 2016.
  • WIL: 132% increase in the number of students engaging in WIL, with 1 in 3 UQ students (32%) now engaging in WIL, from 15% in 2016.
  • Global Mobility: a 300% increase in grants deployed, and 329% increase in participation over 2016.