The purpose of this article is to investigate the process of work-integrated learning in the Department of Public Administration and Management at Unisa for benchmarking implementation at their ‘comprehensive’ higher education institutions in South Africa. This needs to take into consideration the different conditions of two former distance education
institutions, a former technikon and a traditional university that merged and consequently became known as a comprehensive university. In this research, an exploratory single case strategy was employed. The focus of the exploration is on the implementation of the principles of adult learning theories, such as constructivist learning, learning style flexibility, co-operative learning and self-regulated learning. Furthermore, it includes an investigation of the different roles of the lecturer; the design and development of effective work-integrated learning programmes; the
implementation of such programmes by means of facilitating learning and assessing students’ mastering of outcomes. Qualitative data collection was done through text analysis – specifically the process chronological thematic portfolios submitted by the students as part of their summative assessment. To gain primary data, some interviews were carried out, making use of semi-structured questions. Apart from these data collection methods, other related published literature, official documents and web based documents were studied to explore the work-integrated learning execution procedure, research method and report organisation. The acquired knowledge has been partly adapted and adopted by the Department of Public Administration at Unisa. The main implication of this case study is the need to explore how other Public Administration departments at South African universities can efficiently and effectively adapt and adopt such knowledge for work-integrated learning. This study
represents a knowledge gap and offers practical assistance to Public Administration departments to leverage lecturer’s skills and expertise
together with their students and consequently to maintain and enhance their work integrated capability.