IFC and WACE (World Association for Cooperative Education) have entered into a strategic partnership with the goal of developing employability capacity in higher education institutions. The collaboration centers on strengthening work-integrated learning and career programming, including through IFC’s new employability initiative, Vitae.

The partnership will focus on:

  • Information sharing
  • Benchmarking
  • Staff capacity building
  • Employer engagement
  • Institution and student-focused engagement

To launch the collaboration, WACE is reaching out to its membership to complete Vitae’s Employability Benchmarking exercise, which enables each institution to view its score against a frontier of good practices within five dimensions of employability. Recommendations for implementation can also be viewed.

The Vitae team will then process, aggregate, and include the institutional data within its global benchmark, also preparing a report for WACE to distribute to its participating members that summarizes the average institutional score for each employability dimension and the range of scores, among other interesting findings. This activity will help to create a more robust global benchmark for Vitae that can support higher education institutions in measuring their employability.

IFC is also partnering with WACE to support the WACE Global Challenge. The initiative connects students from universities around the world to work in multi-disciplinary, culturally diverse teams on authentic industry projects linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

So far the WACE Global Challenge has involved 17 institutions from 11 countries with 150 students located in 21 countries. The students work with industry and community partners on shared value projects during the four-week program. In the pilot last year, more than 80 percent of participating students reported enhanced employability skills, expanded networks, better collaboration skills, and improved cross-cultural communications skills. The WACE Global Challenge utilizes the Practera experiential learning platform.

WACE is an international organization dedicated to developing, expanding, branding, and advocating for cooperative and work-integrated education programs within industry and educational institutions. The organization links the world’s leading higher education institutions, employers, and public authorities, all of whom share a profound commitment to preparing new generations for a lifetime of professional success in today’s global and diverse workforce.