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Partnerships between Higher Education Institutions and Firms: The Role of Students’ Curricular Internships

Franco, M., R. Silva, M. Rodrigues (2019), "Partnerships between Higher Education Institutions and Firms: The Role of Students’ Curricular Internships", Industry and Higher Education, 33(3), 172-185.
Resumo:

Partnerships between higher education institutions (HEIs) and firms mediated by students’ curricular internships allow increased mutual benefits in the form of the exchange of knowledge and innovation. This study investigates these relationships by testing various hypotheses to measure the influence of certain factors on the student’s personal involvement in curricular internships organized through HEI–firm partnerships. Based on a final sample of 215 students on various degree courses at two Portuguese HEIs (a university and a polytechnic), the results obtained show that students assess internships very positively in all respects (organization of the internship, the HEI’s orientation, the host institution (HI) and the HI’s orientation). This suggests that the professional internships provided by HEI–firm partnerships play a crucial role in students’ entry into a labour market characterized by strong competition and relational aggressiveness. Implications for theory and practice are also presented.