Future-proven research from the leaders in work-integrated education

The Work-Learn Institute (WxL) is the only research unit of its kind researching the development of talent through quality work-integrated learning programs (WIL).


Quality standards

WxL establishes quality standards for meaningful, high-quality co-operative education and work-integrated learning programs.


Waterloo has the largest co-operative education program in the world, giving WxL access to the largest dataset of student and employer data to study the future of work.


WxL is an incubator for WIL innovation testing new models and ideas to continue to evolve the practice of co-op and work-integrated learning to meet the changing demands of the labour market.


Take a AAA approach to work-integrated learning

Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $1 billion in real-world learning opportunities to prepare the next generation for the labour market. Work-integrated learning (WIL) combines classroom learning with work experience — preparing students with the skills and experiences they need. How can providers and policymakers guarantee the quality of experiences for everyone to ensure the maximum impact?

  • Learn why not all WIL experiences are equal in intensity and value. 
  • Get a checklist to see how your WIL program stacks up.
  • Read how clear goals and action plans are critical for success
  1. Apr. 29, 2022Remembering James Downey for his instrumental role in co-operative education at University of Waterloo
    James (Jim) Downey, founding director of the Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Co-operative Education (WatCACE)

    By: Namish Modi (he/him)

    During his time at Waterloo, James (Jim) Downey was instrumental to the University’s world-renowned co-operative education program as the founding director of the Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Co-operative education (WatCACE).

  2. Nov. 4, 2021Work-Learn announces two-year partnership with HEQCO’s Skills Consortium, will examine (WE) Accelerate’s impact on transferable skills, employment
    A University of Waterloo co-op student wearing a face mask and sitting indoors on a couch and using a laptop.

  3. Mar. 20, 2021The Work-Learn Institute celebrates CEWIL National WIL Month, reflects on co-op students’ contribution to research
    Co-op students in a common seating area

    March is Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada National Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) month. As an opportunity to celebrate and generate awareness of co-op and other WIL programs across Canada, the Work-Learn Institute (WxL) is reflecting on the contributions co-op students have made to the Work-Learn team and WIL research.

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