Research and Development


The Industry Study Tours, as part of the Swinburne Advantage, has been developed and delivered via a collaborative team approach. In order to continually evaluate and improve upon the program we undergo a variety of evaluation research projects. For instance, we recently investigated study tour stakeholders’ perceptions when co-developing and co-delivering the various international, Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Industry Study Tours (IST) at Swinburne University.

The ISTs at Swinburne University has been offered for over two years and to the following destinations: China, Philippines, Samoa and Malaysia with over 90 students participating in the program. The ISTs are available to all second year, undergraduate students as a credit bearing elective.

To complete the program’s evaluation research cycle we have chosen to use an auto-ethnography methodology alongside a number of self-reported generated method processes for data collection. This in turn, helps to highlight the various complexities around the difficulties and benefits for collaborating across multiple expertise for mobility stakeholders such as Third-Party Providers, university mobility staff experts, industry and students.

We have discovered the following: 1) establishing international industry connections that have meaning to students’ disciplines of study are complex and time-consuming and 2) providing effective avenues for constructive feedback for program improvement where all stakeholders’ voices are considered is paramount for the delivery of high-quality WIL mobility programs for students.

Other achievements are:

Research and other outcomes:

  1. Appleby, M., & Hains-Wesson, R. (2016). Investigating and evaluating collaborative partnerships within the Industry Study Tours’ model at Swinburne University of Technology. Global Internship Conference, Boston, USA:
  2. (2016) – $49,500 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants awarded for the Swinburne Advantage’s Industry Study Tour to Philippines (co-secured by Mary Appleby, Glen Bates and Rachael Hains-Wesson for Swinburne University of Technology).
  3. (2016), Highly Commended Mention in the category of Vice Chancellor’s 2016 Inclusion and Diversity Award, 6 December, 2016, Swinburne University of Technology.
  4. Hains-Wesson, R. (2017). Why aren’t we talking? Third-party providers and mobility programs, Points for Debate, Higher Education Research and Development, in print (
  5. Hains-Wesson, R., & Appleby, M. (2017). An international Work-Integrated Learning Industry Study Tour program: An auto-ethnography study, APJCE, under review.
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