Flexible and pragmatic are the best words to describe the ACS F scholarship programs. Each organisation has the opportunity to construct the scholarship/internship model which best suits it and its various business units. Part time or full time, the length of the scholarship/internship, who sources the applicants (the company, the ACS F or a combination of both), and whether the scholarships are aimed at undergraduates or post graduates are examples of just some of the ways scholarships/internships might be “customised” for an organisation or particular business units within it. The ACS F scholarships are founded on flexibility, and the scholarships/internships are “owned” by the donor/partner organisation.
The normal process by which the WIL program works is:
Once the donor makes the decision to proceed with a scholarship / internship, the ACS Foundation will raise a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the donor. Once the WIL requirements have been decided by the donor, the scholarship will be advertised either via the media, throughout the ACSF email lists, via academic focused emails, or all of the above.
Applications will then be sought, sorted, and a short list compiled by the ACS Foundation, and forwarded to the organisation.
The donor decides the level of involvement they wish to have in the interview and selection process, and interviews conducted. This can be done on the basis that the ACS Foundation doesn’t participate, does participate, or is responsible for the whole selection process. Our donors can “outsource” their Student selection process down to the short list completely to us, if required.
Once the successful candidate/s have been selected, they sign the ACS Foundation Student Agreement. Undergraduate applicants have normally completed 2 years of their 3 year degree course, and when successful in their WIL scholarship application, they spend up to one year in the donor organisation, before returning to their University to complete the final year of their degree.
The student is engaged with the organisation on the basis of a scholarship, which is paid to them regularly, and currently the favoured standard model is fortnightly over 52 weeks. The donor needs to ensure that the scholarship funds have been paid to the ACS Foundation in advance. The students are normally paid their scholarships via the University they are enrolled at.
The students are offered to their donors on a “first right of refusal” basis for employment following graduation, assuming the student is willing to be employed by their donor. A recent survey showed that donors provided graduate employment offers to over 79% of students who completed a WIL scholarship with them.
ACS Foundation Responsibilities
Some responsibilities are clearly those of the ACS Foundation, and some which are those of the donor. These are determined and agreed when establishing the MOU. Those decisions are then documented and distributed to ensure that each party is clear as to the division of responsibilities, and the processes by which the arrangement will operate.
The main donor/partner responsibilities are determining and gaining internal approval for their scholarships/internships, mentoring and growing the student’s skills and experience while they are in their organisation, and assisting with establishing and documenting the objectives of their scholarship/internship period, and evaluation of the students performance during that period.
Cost of an ACS Foundation WIL Scholarship to the Donor
Each standard ACS F undergraduate WIL Scholarship/Internship will cost a donor $36,000 per year. Of this amount $30,000 (the exact amount is up to the discretion of the donor) is paid to the student on a fortnightly basis over 52 weeks. The scholarship/internship is tax free to the student assuming that the student doesn’t have an additional source of income. The remaining amount is used to cover administration related costs.
The Students are not employees of the donor organisation and as such do not incur the normal associated on-costs and overheads such as Workers Compensation, Sick Leave, Superannuation and Health Cover. Those that are appropriate are covered by the University, and blanket policies they hold.