AIMS to host Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Workshop

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The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the University of Waterloo and the University of Ottawa will host a three-day Work-Integrated Learning (WIL*) workshop from 28–30 October 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. WIL is the term given to an activity or program that integrates academic learning with its application in the workplace. The practice may be real or simulated and can occur in the workplace, at a university, online or face-to-face.

The objective of the WIL workshop is to facilitate reflexive space for the advancement of the AIMS WIL programs, including the Cooperative Education (Co-op) program, the Skills for Employability (SFE) program and the AIMS-ESMT Industry Immersion program.  This workshop is organized within the framework and mandate of the AIMS Industry Initiative to build the necessary capacity to support the implementation of WIL programs across the network.


The workshop will leverage the existing partnership with Mastercard Foundation (MCF) through the MCF Scholars Program and make recommendations for knowledge policies that must be put into place for African governments to make a substantial contribution to WIL programs and the transition of African youth to relevant employment opportunities.

The workshop will also raise awareness of advanced approaches to WIL in tandem with AIMS industry partners.  Furthermore, it will provide participants with in-depth knowledge of Co-op and sensitize industry partners to their role and responsibilities in promoting WIL across Africa.

Participants will engage in discussions among peers, be introduced to the University of Waterloo’s theoretical and empirical approaches to experiential education. Furthermore, the workshop will explore Canadian and African approaches to WIL, provide access to leading practitioners and explore how WIL methodologies and best practices can be used to strengthen the AIMS Co-op Program.

The workshop will strengthen the AIMS WIL program – primarily Co-op – to ensure that AIMS graduates are well equipped to enter the workforce with essential transferable skill sets while reducing the tension between meeting academic requirements of academic programs and finding time dedicated to building transferable skills.

In addition, it will leverage industry partnerships to implement a sustainable industry engagement strategy across the AIMS-NEI centers and to better identify Co-op placements that are relevant, challenging and hold the employer accountable.

Deliberations at the workshop will empower the implementation team, which will be composed of Co-op managers, academic directors and program managers to identify challenges, opportunities and adequately support AIMS students over the course of their WIL pathways.

An estimated 50 participants will attend the workshop.  Participants will include AIMS-NEI staff; including: Co-op managers and academic directors, industry partners, senior administrators from local partner universities, and government representatives.  Media coverage will be provided by the AIMS communications department, as well as national and international media outlets.

Participation to this workshop is by invitation only. Participants are asked to contact the AIMS Industry Initiative team in order to register.  For inquiries about this workshop, please contact us at:



[1]Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is the term given to an activity or program that integrates academic learning with

its application in the workplace. The practice may be real or simulated and can occur in the workplace, at the university, online or face-to-face. The Business/Higher Education Roundtable defines nine types of work-integrated

learning; including: (1) apprenticeships, (2) cooperative education (co-ops), (3) internships, (4) mandatory professional practice, (5) field experiences, (6) applied research projects, (7) service learning, (8) incubators/accelerators, and (9) boot camps/hackathons.

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