What are Engaged Curriculum Projects?
Our engaged curriculum projects provide practical hands on work integrated learning (WIL) for our students to build their employability skills while also assisting our industry partners to solve a business issue.
What is involved?
After submitting a 1-2 page project brief, we will attempt to match your project with an engaged subject. We then ask you to present your project/s to students at the start of the teaching session. Groups of students will be allocated to work on your project with Q&A sessions scheduled with you throughout the teaching session (on-line or face-to-face). At the end of session, our students will present a well written professional advisory report and deliver a professional oral presentation at either the university premises or at the offices of the industry partner.
Mateship Australia is an example of a previous project our students have worked on.
What is Mateship Australia?
Social Impact through Social Change
Changing the way suburban dwellers in urban cities think about their neighbours in rural and regional New South Wales.
In Autumn of 2022, a group of postgraduate students at Western’s School of Business, learning about governance, ethics and social entrepreneurship, were given an opportunity to engage in real social change. Through a team-based research project, they became ‘change agents’ aiming to create and sustain social value through continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning. With purpose and continuity at the core of their social vision, our students transformed into social entrepreneurs and developed a business plan for Mateship Australia that connects our rural communities and towns with suburban and city dwellers using a digital application (APP).
Following the development of their business models, our students and colleagues were invited to present their vision for Mateship Australia to several political leaders of the NSW parliament, patrons, and special guests from the corporate and NFP sectors. Additionally, in their presentation at the School of Business Thank you reception, students showcased a way forward for this initiative to 150 special guests from industry and the university sectors.
Moving forward, the Mateship Australia project is an opportunity for our students and academic colleagues to highlight social impact as a core element in the business sector. As a future-focused initiative, working together in partnership with Mr Joe Rizk AM, the Mateship Australia pilot project provides an opportunity for our students to open the hearts and minds of ordinary Australian households living in urban cities and develop better relationships with their rural and regional neighbours in the country. This is an opportunity for us all to be real ‘change agents’ by breaking the barriers of communication through ‘Mateship’.
- Dr Ayda Succarie, Project Lead - Mateship Australia.
"Bushfires, floods, pandemics, and global economic pressures are not favourable for agricultural exports. So how can we structure and implement a process that will mitigate and reduce the cyclical impact of such events on the rural sector, The Bush? We need to return to our roots and encourage Australians to take ownership of a long-term solution through Mateship. Mateship Australia emphasises the notion that following awareness is action. Through the dedication and commitment of a team of academics and students at the School of Business from Western Sydney University, my vision for Mateship Australia has been put into action by developing a social enterprise business plan for a pilot project that aims to connect city and suburban dwellers with their neighbours in rural and regional New South Wales."
- Mr Joseph Rizk AM, Managing Director and CEO, Arab Bank Australia.
"Our business school is proud to lead the Mateship Australia initiative into its pilot phase and beyond. Founded by Mr Joseph Rizk AM, Mateship Australia is a future-focused initiative. The project foreshadows opportunities for urban dwellers to develop strong partnerships with their rural and regional neighbours. Inspired by Joe, our students, and a dedicated academic team have utilised their knowledge, skills, and expertise to create a social enterprise business plan. The plan takes Mateship Australia from its ideation phase into development phase as a digital application that serves the communities of New South Wales."
- Professor Amir Mahmood, Dean and Provost, School of Business, Western Sydney University.
Partnering with industry through Industry Fellowships
The School of Business Industry Fellowship initiative provides academic staff with a short period of leave to allow them the opportunity to work closely with industry partners in support of curriculum innovation and student employability so that business education is aligned with business practice.
Research shows that academics spending time in industry settings can have powerful benefits for curriculum and teaching. An example of this is showcased below.
Industry Fellowship: Omnichannel Marketing
Project Lead: Dr Neeru Sharma
This industry fellowship aimed to develop an authentic curriculum for a new subject MKTG 3020 Omnichannel marketing, launched in July 2022. Omnichannel is a new concept, and there was a scarcity of learning resources to fit the purpose of the subject. The fellowship involved collaborating with Australian organisations pioneering in implementing omnichannel— Commonwealth Bank, DHL Express, Tquila ANZ Salesforce. The collaboration developed insights into what has driven omnichannel development, and how this is managed by these organisations. The collaboration addressed the following questions:
- How do they meet customer experience expectations, and to what extent does the omnichannel contribute to customer engagement and customer relationship development?
- How does the company align the organisation's strategy with the omnichannel approach?
- How does technology and organisational structure help to deliver value to customers?
Learning resources developed from this collaboration have contributed to an up-to-date knowledge of omnichannel marketing by highlighting how omnichannel marketing concepts are reflected in industry practice. Students use the knowledge in completing learning activities, e.g., problem scenarios requiring analysis and recommendation of appropriate strategies/solutions, enabling them to acquire knowledge of omnichannel marketing strategies helpful in real-life business settings.
Our School of Business appreciates the support from our industry partners and look forward to developing our fruitful collaborations to support our students’ career preparedness.
Do you have a business project that our students can assist you with?
To discuss how we can set up project opportunities with your organisation, please don’t hesitate to connect with us.
Our staff also work closely with industry and community in developing engaging real world content for our subjects, like through our Industry Fellowship Scheme.
Please let us know if you would like to work with our staff as they curate 'real-world' content and case studies for our subjects.