Experiential learning, agile employees: Getting our students on the right path

Posted on May 19th, 2016

In an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail, Dave McKay, chief executive officer of the Royal Bank of Canada, advocates for the importance of experiential learning for students. In the changing world of technology, demographics, and social values, McKay argues that universities need to emphasize work-integrated learning. He states, “This is a hands-on generation. They like to experiment, to challenge and to share.” Work-integrated learning, he says, could also improve economic access for minority groups, such as new Canadians and indigenous peoples. “Work placements get students in front of employers and act as a social leveller,” he says. McKay suggests that a new national goal be enacted to ensure that all Canadian undergraduate students experience some form of experiential learning before they graduate. “Expanding access to experiential learning is a national challenge that can be addressed only when universities, colleges, business and government work together.”