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The Pursuit of Excellence in Social Work Education — The Sino-Europe Six-U Social Work Supervision Conference Succeeded

On October 13, 2018, the Sino-Europe Six-University Social Work Supervision Conference, organized by Nanjing Normal University and its Social Development School was successfully held at the Suiyuan Campus. The conference, funded by the Erasmus+ Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education, invited well-known scholars and professionals from different social work education and practice circles both home and abroad to give speeches and participate in discussions.

Professor Xiaojin Zhu, Vice President of Nanjing Normal University, Hengxin Zhou, Director of Department of Personnel Education and Social Work in Jiangsu Provincial Department of Civil Affairs, Professor Juha Hämäläinen, Director of BUIBRI Project Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, and Xiushan Luo, Secretary of the Social Development Institute Party Committee, attended the opening ceremony hosted by Professor Chunfeng Qi, Dean of the School of Social Development.

“Nanjing Normal University was the sixth university in China after the restoration of social work in 1987 and was the first university in Jiangsu Province to establish the major of social work.” Vice President Xiaojin Zhu introduced the history and development of the social work major in Nanjing Normal University to the participants. In general, “The social work profession of our school has repeatedly become a brand specialty, and has trained a group of early social work professional teachers and excellent practical workers for Jiangsu and other parts of the country.”

Under the impetus of universities and practice circles, social work in Jiangsu Province has shown a booming situation. Hengxin Zhou, Director of Department of Personnel Education and Social Work, Jiangsu Provincial Department of Civil Affairs introduced the development status and prospects of social work in Jiangsu Province, and placed great hopes on the smooth development of this seminar. In the opening ceremony, Prof. Juha Hämäläinen, Director of BUIBRI Project Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, also briefly explained the differences in current social development between China and Europe and the long-term objectives of this cooperation project.

The morning session of the conference was hosted by Professor Fang Zhao, the head of the Department of Social Work at Fudan University. Dr. Echo Yeung from University of HertfordshireUnited Kingdom),Prof. Staffan Höjer from University of GothenburgSweden),Prof. Steven M Shardlow from University of HertfordshireUnited Kingdom/ Keele University explained the general model, practice model and educational model of social work supervision in different levels and had a wonderful discussion and interaction with the domestic participants.

The sub-forum in the afternoon revolved around the three themes of "The Current Situation, Existing Problems and Future Development of Social Work", "The Supervision for Social Work Students in Different Agencies", and "Social Work Students’ Experiences and Expectations for Social Work Practice". Representatives of social work professionals and industry from Shanghai, Guangzhou and Nanjing, as well as students majored in social work from Nanjing Normal University, shared their views and experiences on social work supervision from different angles. Professor Guangfei Yang, Associate Dean of the School of Social Development in Nanjing Normal University, presided over the closing ceremony of the conference with a summary of all the presentations and discussions.

The Conference on Social Work Supervision and the following supervisors training are an important part of a three-year plan of the project “Building Bridges between Europe and China to Strengthen the Social Work Profession” supported by the programme of Erasmus+. The project was jointly applied to the EU by University of Eastern Finland (Finland), Gothenburg University (Sweden), University of Hertfordshire (UK), Fudan University, Sun-Yat-sen University and Nanjing Normal University, with the aim to improve the practice education and supervision mechanism of the domestic social work and promote the development of the field and the cultivation of the talents in the field  by concentrating on domestic and international advanced social work education and supervision experience.

Writers: Xuechun Xu, Yarong Liu  Translater:Yuxue Tang