Cooperative and work-integrated education in hospitality and tourism

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Baker, L, Caldicott, J & Spowart, J 2011, 'Cooperative and work-integrated education in hospitality and tourism', in RK Coll & KE Zegwaard (eds), International handbook for cooperative and work-integrated education: international perspectives of theory, research and practice, 2nd edn, World Association for Cooperative Education, Lowell, MA, pp. 219-28.

Peer Reviewed



This chapter discusses the role of work-integrated learning (WIL) in tourism and hospitality education. As a relatively recent university discipline, the use of work-integrated learning programs is widespread. A significant challenge for providers of tourism and hospitality university education is the appropriate balance of a vocational and academic curriculum. A case study is presented to highlight the efforts of an Australian university in embedding WIL into their curriculum design for their tourism and hospitality degrees. Strong industry collaboration and a curriculum informed by the principles of experiential learning, organizational behavior and critical reflection aim to improve workplace readiness of students, maximize learning opportunities during the placement, and increase retention of graduates in such labor intensive industries.