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Waikato University staff member wins international award

11 September 2015

Waikato University staff member wins international cooperative education award

Caption: Dr Karsten Zegwaard

University of Waikato’s Dr Karsten Zegwaard has won the Donald MacLaren Jr Academic Award for Professional Achievement in Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education.

The award is named in memory of Donald MacLaren Jr, former public affairs manager for Air Canada, who was an avid supporter of closer working relationships between all cooperative education institutions throughout the world.

The award was presented to Dr Zegwaard at the bi-annual World Conference on Cooperative Education in August in recognition of his achievement and continuing commitment to the enhancement of international cooperative education.

Dr Zegwaard is the director of the Cooperative Education Unit at Waikato University. His research focus is in the areas of work placement preparation, student self-efficacy, professional identity development, and professional ethics and workplace values.

The Cooperative Education Unit runs the work placement programme for the BSc(Tech) and BE(Hons) degrees. The programme is a comprehensive work placement programme and includes workplace preparation, two 400-hour work experiences in a relevant workplace, and skill development reflection.

The University of Waikato offers a range of work placement programmes across a variety of disciplines, placing around 2000-2500 students a year in relevant workplaces.

Dr Zegwaard says work experience opportunities grant students a learning opportunity that can be transformative in their thinking about their study discipline and careers student may choose to pursue.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved in work placement programmes, both for students and educators.”

Worldwide, programmes such as work placements, work-based learning, and community volunteering, are increasingly being recognised as important learning opportunities for students.

ENDS

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