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Strategy > Co-operative university


The Federation University Co-operative Model

Federation University Australia is becoming Australia’s first co-operative university.





We have made a commitment to embed co-operative learning in every university degree and TAFE course by 2025.

Federation Co-op builds on our core strengths as a dual-sector, regional university, with top ratings in Victoria in graduate employment outcomes – and leadership in industry collaboration.

Co-op involves designing and delivering education in co-operation with employers.

Co-op benefits students by connecting them to employers and industries throughout their studies and giving them access to new opportunities. Co-op provides a clear pathway from enrolment to graduation and employment – and the foundation workplace skills needed to hit the ground running.

For employers and industry, co-op addresses many of the skills shortages facing regional Victoria and Australia and provides a talent pool of graduates that already understands the real needs of business. Co-op means industry can tell Federation what they need our students to know to succeed.

Co-op reimagines the usual linear journey to provide a fully integrated, flexible and stacked education/real experience journey which means our students are more experienced when they graduate and have travelled a more efficient path to get to where they want to go.

We have seen the co-op model succeed at Federation through partnerships such as those with IBM – over 25 years, with 70 per cent of students working globally with IBM, others being snapped up by SMEs and 90 per cent continuing to work in the regions.

What makes the Federation Co-operative Model different?


The Federation Co-operative Model is more than just an extension of traditional workplace learning and apprenticeships – and we aspire to deliver it across every degree and course by 2025. We are the first Australian university to make this commitment.

Co-operative Education is different to traditional work placement. It involves working with employers and industry in developing our educational pathways to ensure our programs and courses meet industry needs through:
This co-operative engagement with employers and industries will happen at different levels depending on the discipline, course or TAFE unit. We will expand our network of Industry Advisory Bodies to review and provide feedback across all of our higher education programs and TAFE courses. We will also consider where we can directly involve industry during the development of our programs and courses – at times through consultation and feedback; and in some cases they will have active involvement in all stages of program or course development.

Every Federation Co-op undergraduate degree will include:

Students will connect with local and international opportunities, with access to major national and global employers opening up opportunities for travel.

Students can have certainty that employers and industry leaders have endorsed the program or course they are studying as what they really need to succeed.

Our first degrees that have transitioned to the co-op model will be launched in 2023 and include:


We are assessing every undergraduate program offered at Federation to see which other degrees can be delivered as co-op from 2023, due to our extensive history of industry engagement.

We will assess all remaining undergraduate degrees, TAFE courses and higher degree by research programs in 2023 and 2024 to transition to co-op by 2025. Postgraduate programs will be transitioned over 2024 and 2025. Join us on our co-op journey! Discover our partnerships and learn how to partner with Federation University.

RESOURCES FOR STAFF can found on our Federation Co-op SharePoint site.