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Practitioner and academia partnerships : establishing meaningful and relevant postgraduate learning experiences
Collaborative and productive partnerships between practitioners and academics are paramount in providing meaningful and relevant learning experiences for students undertaking postgraduate studies. There is no one partnership model that assures success. Differing approaches have differing emphasis owing to the professions themselves and the manner in which they wish to engage with academia. The creative tension between professional imperatives and academic rigour need to be addressed in ensuring the provision of credible and relevant learning experiences that both up-skills and educates students. Consideration of the work commitments and availability constraints of full-time employed students engaging or re-engaging after a long absence of studying needs to be accommodated in the delivery mode of the postgraduate programs. Two very different postgraduate practitioner-focused program models are discussed for providing industry with the currency and relevance they seek and need to educate their work force. It is not the intention of this paper to report results of a particular research project but rather the intent is to provide a catalyst for discussion on the nomenclature and models of work related learning models in higher education.