Student Success and the IRU VCs’ Fellowship

The Vice-Chancellors of IRU member universities have initiated a fellowship to work on student success programs across the IRU network.

By collaborating on key initiatives and showcasing best practice across the IRU, the fellowship provides an opportunity to impact student and graduate success from the transition to university through to graduation and beyond.

The IRU Vice-Chancellors’ Fellow is normally appointed for a two-year term. Two IRU Vice-Chancellors’ Fellows have been appointed so far: Jessica Vanderlelie between 2016 and 2018; and Amani Bell between 2018 and 2020.

eWIL Pilot – online workplace learning projects

The Innovative Research Universities (IRU) group is collaborating with government agencies to scope the potential for students to participate in real projects as part of their work-integrated learning at university.

This pilot project will see students working on live and real eWIL (e-Work Integrated Learning) projects across three government departments:

  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Finance
  • Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business and Innovation

The students will participate in the projects off-site using an online ‘virtual workplace’. Utilising virtual workplaces in this way will provide opportunities for remote and equity groups to take part in future eWil projects.

Read more about the IRU eWIL pilot projects


Reimagining Work integrated learning

Work integrated learning (WIL) is a practice that has high impact on students’ learning and employability. This project will explore innovative ways of providing WIL at scale, and investigate models for WIL that are responsive to the changing nature of work.

Work integrated learning webinar series

In 2019, the IRU hosted a WIL webinar series discussing how to maximise the benefits of WIL in Australian universities. You can view the webinar recordings here (use the broken square icon in the bottom right of the video to play in full-screen mode).

Access the National Innovation Case Study Collection

This collection showcases innovative practices that support student and graduate success across the IRU. The aim of the collection is to disseminate good practice, and provide a mechanism through which to encourage cross-sector collaboration.

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Innovative Practice in Action

  • Employability – Flinders Horizon Award

    A Professional Development Award empowering students to access a range of experiences, participate fully in the University community and understand and experience the value of enhancing their employability.

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  • Learning analytics – Griffith Subject Level analytics

    Customised Blackboard Analytics developed to suit specific institutional context and purpose that utilised a systematic process of incorporating cognitive science and user evaluation and feedback, in the design and development process.

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  • Student Support – Murdoch K-Track

    An Indigenous enabling program, for students seeking entry into university that draws upon the principles of transformative education, to embed emotional intelligence, mindfulness and general well-being.

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Data Driven Success

Learning Analytics affords the opportunity to encourage student metacognition and reflection, however for this to occur, learners must have access to information about their learning and be equipped with the skills to understand its meaning and the supports required to seek assistance. Our work will build upon the strong analytic foundations in existence across the IRU, and offer opportunities to collaboratively develop and scale tools that support students and produce quality educational experiences.

IRU Employability Assessment Toolkit

The IRU has worked collaboratively across its seven universities to produce an employability assessment toolkit.

The toolkit will be useful for educators involved in designing assessments that develop students’ employability skills, whether in a stand-alone employability subject or as part of a discipline-based subject.



Supporting graduate employability goes far beyond preparation for a single graduate job, to encompass the skills and capabilities required for success in the changing industrial landscape. Our work is to develop authentic, employability curricula and opportunities that encourage students to broaden their skills and reflect on their capabilities across the student lifecycle. By creatively, aligning our efforts we will ensure the work readiness of our graduates, whilst maximising opportunities for collaboration and resource sharing across the IRU.

  • Employability Achievement Records

    Encouraging active participation in employability experiences across the student lifecycle that assist students to develop relevant transferable skills, collate evidence of achievement and reflect upon their career development.

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  • University-Wide Experience Subjects

    Credit-bearing opportunities for all students to engage in diverse experiences to support their employability including: exchange and international tours, volunteer activities, social entrepreneurship and cross-disciplinary industry challenges/internships.

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  • Empowering Employability Pedagogy

    Program of activities supporting staff to work in partnership with Career Services and industry to design and deliver high-quality, evidenced based, employability curricula across the student lifecycle.

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