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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ's

What is Industry Engaged Learning (IEL)
  • Industry Engaged Learning is a structured learning experience that involves active engagement with industry.  IEL encompasses a broad range of programs in which students are given the opportunity to engage with industry.

What IEL programs are currently available?
  • There are a range of IEL programs available, including: Industry-Based Learning, Industry Placements, Internships, Capstones and Study Tours.

What are Capstones?
  • Capstones connect organisations that require assistance with a short term project, with a cohort of final year undergraduate students who will tackle these challenges using innovative and creative solutions. A Capstone unit may take the form of an industry or community project, a competition, a research-based project or an internally-developed project brief.

What are Internships?
  • Internships place a student with an organisation to work on a research project or undertake work experience under the guidance of industry and academic supervision. Placements generally take place for two or three days a week throughout the semester.

     

What are Study Tours?
  • Study tours provide students with an opportunity to travel overseas and be exposed to international business practices. The tours include visits to a wide range of organisations and allow you to experience how culture impacts on international business activities.

     

Can students undertake unpaid placements?
  • Students can only undertake unpaid placements if these are a formal part of their learning, such as part of a unit or subject in their degree. FairWork Australia does not support unpaid work placements, unless this takes the form of volunteering in a registered not-for-profit organisation. For more information please visit the FairWork website.

Industry Based Learning - Student FAQ's

What is Industry-Based Learning (IBL)?
  • Industry-Based Learning (IBL) is all about helping you gain industry experience before you graduate. The program provides you with an opportunity to undertake a paid placement in an area relevant to your studies, for either 6 or 12 months. Most placements are full-time however part-time placements can sometimes be accommodated.

What are Industry Placements (IP)?
  • Industry Placements are offered for Faculty of Design students. IP is similar to IBL although students have greater contact with the University during the placement. Students typically spend one day per week at University and four days on their placement. Find out more about IP.

What is the difference between an IBL scholarship and IBL Direct Hire?
  • The difference is in regards to how the student's pay is administered. The IBL Scholarship funds are provided by the Host Organisation to the University who then administers the payments to the student.
    Alternatively, Direct Hire students are on a salary, equivalent to the relevant Modern Award Rate or Minimum Award Rate as applicable which is paid directly to the student through the organisations payroll.

Can International Students participate in IBL?
  • The optional year of Industry-Based Learning in Australia is not available to International Students without permanent resident status. This is because Student Visas pose strict limitations on the number of hours that students can work. However IBL may be possible for International Students in a student's home country or other country subject to approval by the appropriate IBL Manager.

Can any undergraduate Swinburne student participate in IBL?
  • IBL is available t students who have finished their second year of study. In addition, in most courses, entry into the IBL program has certain eligibility requirements determined by each faculty. These are usually based on academic results. Contact your relevant faculty for specific requirements.
Can I be placed overseas?
  • Students are encouraged to undertake overseas placements where these are available. The number of available placements is likely to increase as more links with overseas university partners are developed.
What types of organisations host IBL students?
  • IBL is offered throughout a wide variety of organisations including small to large companies, the government and not-for-profit sectors and local and international companies.

Who usually finds the IBL placement?
  • Most placements are found by the Faculty IBL Managers and advertised to students through Blackboard.

Can I find my own position?
  • Yes. Students that are interested in a placement within a specific organisation may find their own position as long as the organisation is considered appropriate by the faculty. Students are asked to discuss their placement ideas with their faculty IBL managers before contacting any organisations.

Do all eligible students who want an IBL placement get one?
  • There are generally no guarantees that placements will be available for all eligible students, but every effort is made to assist as many students as possible to obtain a placement.

How long are placements and are they full-time?
  • Placements are usually offered for either 6 or 12 months. Most placements are offered on a full-time basis and you will need to contact your Faculty IBL manager if you wish to discuss part-time opportunities.

Who determines what my duties are while on placement?
  • The Host Organisation provides a Position Description or Duty Statement outlining the nature of work to be undertaken during the placement.

When can I participate in IBL?
  • IBL is usually taken in the year prior to the final year of study however requirements may vary by faculty. This ensures that IBL students have the skills appropriate to the tasks being set and you have a chance to apply knowledge and skills learned at university to practical situations. You cannot participate in IBL if you have already finished your studies.

Can I continue to study part-time while on placement?
  • Please contact your faculty to discuss whether you are eligible to study whilst on placement

What help can I get with resumes and interview skills in preparation for my placement?

  • You are able to seek assistance from Swinburne's Careers & Employment Unit for assistance on how to write an interesting cover letter and CV and how to present and prepare for an interview.

What support can I expect from the University while on placement?
  • Students on placement are allocated a Swinburne Supervisor by the University. The supervisor will usually visit the student at their workplace and support them as necessary. IBL Managers are also available to support students where required.

What happens when I finish IBL?
  • Upon completion of a placement, students are normally expected to return to university to complete their academic studies. If students have been offered further employment with the Host Organisation (full or part-time) study may be completed part-time. This can be negotiated between the student and the organisation and any post-IBL employment contracts or agreements are quite separate from the IBL placement.


Is IBL classified as a subject?
  • Yes, IBL has a subject code within the University which gives it subject status and therefore students must officially enrol in the unit. In most cases IBL will not constitute as one of the compulsory subjects required to complete a course. An IBL subject is passed/failed based upon an assessment and recorded on a student's Statement of Results.

Am I still classified as a Swinburne student whilst undertaking an IBL placement?
  • While on an IBL placement you are still a student, and all university resources - including Counselling, Careers, Finance, Library and Health Services - are still available to you. Remember that you can still use a student concession card for travel on public transport. .

Is IBL paid, and at what rate?
  • IBL is paid at a rate appropriate to the level of duties being undertaken in the placement, subject to the applicable Victorian Common Rule award. IBL salaries are paid at a rate equivalent to the relevant modern award or minimum wage. There are variations to this in individual disciplines and industry sectors.
    For more information about particular awards/industries/occupations common rule awards, visit: http://www.e-airc.gov.au/crvic/

Do I have to declare my earnings in my tax return?
  • Students on an IBL Scholarship receive a scholarship stipend which is tax free.
    If you are a direct hire student you will receive a salary and be required to lodge a tax return. You will be able to make a claim against any expenses incurred in earning your income. You should keep receipts for any expenses which are directly related to earning your salary. At the end of June, your employer will issue a group certificate showing the details of earnings in the previous 12 months. It is your responsibility to lodge a tax return annually. For more information, go to www.swinburne.edu.au/stuserv/finance/tax.html.

Will I receive superannuation whilst on placement?
  • Students receiving an IBL scholarship are not eligible for superannuation.
    However, if you are under a direct hire it is compulsory for your employer to pay 9% of your salary into a superannuation account which you will not be able to access until you reach retirement age. The superannuation payment should be itemised on your pay slip with details of the amount and the fund into which it is paid.

Can I still receive Youth Allowance whilst on an IBL placement?
  • If you are on Youth Allowance (YA) or Austudy you must notify Centrelink of your new income immediately. You are still eligible for YA or Austudy as you have a HECS loading of 0.5 (HECS Exempt), but your income during IBL usually takes you over the income threshold for one of these allowances, which could terminate the allowance.

    If you need a Status Letter, this can be obtained via this link or you can contact a Swinburne IBL Coordinator if you need more specific information.

Are there any costs involved?
  • Students enrolling in an IBL unit will incur a Student Contribution Fee: $3,000 for a 12 month placement or $1,500 for a 6 month placement. Students eligible for HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP will be able to defer this fee through the HELP scheme

Am I required by the University to undertake any assessable work while on an IBL placement?
  • IBL units of study are assessed as pass/fail. However you may need to complete reflective reports and ongoing self-assessment as part of your placement. Assessment requirements are faculty specific so check with your faculty for more information on what will be required of you.

What official recognition does the University give to IBL?
  • A student who satisfactorily completes the IBL requirements will get acknowledgment on their testamur when they graduate. IBL results are also noted on a student's Statement of Results at the end of the IBL year acknowledging the satisfactory completion of IBL for that course.

Industry Based Learning - Industry FAQ's

What is the difference between an IBL Scholarship and IBL Direct Hire?
  • Funding for the IBL Scholarship is provided by the Host Organisation to the University who then administers the payments to the student. This can have beneficial taxation implications for organisations.
    Alternatively, Direct Hire students are on a salary, which is paid directly out of the organisation's payroll.

What is the Industry Placement (IP) Program?
  • Industry Placements are offered by the Faculty of Design. IP is similar to IBL although students have greater contact with the University during the placement. Students typically spend one day per at University and four days on their placement.

How are IBL Scholarships Awarded?
  • Scholarships awarded are based on merit and interview, and are awarded at the sole discretion of the University in consultation with the Host Organisation. Applicants must be current full-time undergraduate students who are permanent residents of Australia or have appropriate visa which allows them to live and work in Australia.

Are Scholarship holders classified as employees?
  • No, although the relationship between the student and industry sponsor during IBL Scholarship placement is similar to that of an employee and employer, there are some important differences: Students receive a regular Scholarship stipend from the University and are not in receipt of a salary therefore they are not classified as an employee. Partners in the IBL program provide their assistance in fulfilling the educational objectives of the placement

Is IBL paid and at what rate?
  • IBL is paid at a rate appropriate to the level of duties being undertaken in the placement, subject to the applicable Victorian Common Rule award. IBL salaries are paid at a rate equivalent to the relevant modern award or minimum wage. There are variations to this in individual disciplines and industry sectors.
    For more information about particular awards/industries/occupations common rule awards, visit: http://www.e-airc.gov.au/crvic/

How long are placements and are they full-time?
  • Placements are usually offered for either a 6 or 12 month period. In some courses a total of 12 months is required for recognition. Most placements are full-time however part-time placements can sometimes be accommodated.

When can students start?
  • Generally students are available to commence IBL placements either in the period from December to March or July to August. Host Organisations are advised to contact the IBL Coordinator if placements are required outside these time frames.

Can students be placed in overseas organisations?
  • Students are encouraged to undertake overseas placements when these are available.

What types of organisations host IBL students?
  • IBL is offered throughout a wide variety of organisations including small to large companies, the government and not-for-profit sectors and local and international companies.
Who determines what the duties are while on placement?
  • The host organisation usually provides a position description or duty statement outlining the nature of work to be undertaken while in the position. Positions are related to an area of study or discipline.

Who determines whether a prospective placement is appropriate and meets IBL requirements?
  • The IBL Coordinator for each faculty will confirm whether a position offered by a Host Organisation is appropriate.

What level of academic studies will IBL students have completed when they start?
  • IBL is usually taken in the year prior to the final year of study. This ensures that IBL students have the skills appropriate to the tasks being set and that they have a chance to apply knowledge and skills learned at University to practical situations.

What support can Host Organisations expect from the University while on placement?
  • A Swinburne Supervisor oversees the student's progress at regular intervals to ensure that the program is appropriate and that progress is satisfactory.

What are my obligations?
  • As a Host Organisation, you are required to appoint an Industry Supervisor for the student during placement and ensure that the student gains relevant experience.

Are students required by the University to undertake any assessable work whilst on an IBL placement?
  • Yes. Satisfactory completion of IBL is subject to assessable tasks being completed.

What happens if difficulties arise during a placement and/or the placement is not working out to our satisfaction?
  • In these situations Host Organisations should contact the relevant IBL Coordinator to discuss the matter. A University staff member may organise an onsite meeting with all stakeholders and mutually satisfactory actions will be discussed and actioned. Host Organisations may cease the placement if this is the most suitable option.

Which subject areas offer IBL placements?
  • Placements are available across most Swinburne discipline and course areas, such as; Business, Engineering, Science and Technology, Multimedia, Social Sciences, IT and Computing, Design, among many others.

Do I need to supply a Certificate of Currency?
  • The Sponsor is required to provide Swinburne with a current Certificate of Currency for public and product liability and other issues as required by law.

What if the student is absent?
  • Over a 52 week placement, students are required to attend the placement for 48 weeks. The remaining four weeks can be negotiated with the Host Organisation and are to be taken as leave. In addition, students are entitled to ten days absence for other circumstances (eg. sickness, bereavement). Any additional absences may result in a temporary suspension of the placement. Host Organisations are required to notify the IBL Manager if a student is absent for longer than ten days or three consecutive days without a medical certificate.

What happens when students finish IBL?

  • Upon completion of a placement, students are normally expected to return to university to complete their academic studies. If students are offered further employment, (full or part-time) by their IBL Host Organisation, study may be completed part-time. This is negotiated between the student and employer and is quite separate from the IBL placement. and any post-IBL employment contracts or agreements are quite separate from the IBL placement.
What are the WorkCover requirements?
  • WorkSafe Victoria states that Host Organisation's have an obligation to declare any payments - scholarship or wages - as part of their rateable remuneration against their WorkSafe Insurance policy.