For many graduates, the workplace can feel vastly different to the simulated version of it they experienced during their studies. Even those who do work placements have a limited vision and experience of the long-term realities of the modern workplace.

This can lead to a lack of skills such as negotiation, planning, empathy and listening, with as few as 13% of graduates ready to ‘hit the ground running’ at their first job, according to People Management.

Fang Zhao, Professor of Management at Edith Cowan University, has an idea to bridge the gap between university and the workplace: co-working. But Zhao doesn’t mean sending students out to public, co-working spaces, she means opening up the university itself and inviting in entrepreneurs, start-up workers and professionals to work alongside students in a collaborative environment.

While researching the topic, Zhao found that co-working on campus can help with “experiential learning and idea generation and development, thus enriching students’ learning experience”.

Perhaps campus co-working spaces could signal a step forward in bringing the learning experience and the workplace closer together.

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