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Title: An evaluation of public policy student placements : outcomes of a Malta-based study
Authors: Thake, Anne Marie
Keywords: Internship programs -- Malta
Civil service -- Study and teaching (Internship) -- Malta
Political science -- Study and teaching (Internship) -- Malta
Education, Cooperative
Education, Higher
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
Citation: Thake, A. (2020). An evaluation of public policy student placements : outcomes of a Malta-based study. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 10.1108/HESWBL-07-2020-0172.
Abstract: Purpose: This paper seeks to evaluate short-term, unpaid placements offered to students reading for a degree in Public Policy within the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy, University of Malta. They provide added value to their tertiary education experience. Elective placements were offered in 2012 and became a mandatory requirement for students pursuing a three-year Bachelor of Commerce degree in Public Policy in 2018. To date, no research has been carried out on these placements and this may serve as a model for a post-evaluation assessment. Design/methodology/approach: Data was collected from students who undertook placements, embedded within the Public Policy undergraduate programme. A document analysis of selected student and placement supervisors’ reports was carried out to complement the students’ responses to an online questionnaire. Findings: Placements are of value to students as they served as an introduction to the working world. They enable students to establish connections with the course content and carry out research. They were exposed to real-life situations, developing their knowledge, acquiring soft skills, and learning new tools, sought after by employers. These placements were valued as a route to graduate employment tailor-made to the degree’s requirements. Students were able to embark on a soul-searching, introspective discovery and journey which made them mature and shed light in the direction of future work prospects. Originality: Placements provided exposure to relevant organisations and personal enrichment in terms of acquiring skills, autonomy, and independence. Students with placement experience are also more likely to secure future employment, relevant to their undergraduate degree.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacEMAPP

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