The International Summer University in Social Work Programme 2021 (ISUSW 2021) was successfully held online from 12 – 21 July 2021. The Programme was co-organised by our Department, Shandong University (China), University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (Switzerland), University of British Columbia (Canada), the University of California, Los Angeles (USA), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), Rajagiri College of Social Sciences (India), Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Burkina Faso), and Western Sydney University (Australia). Prof. Steven Ngai and four postgraduate students from our department as well as 42 students and faculty members from other universities participated in this meaningful programme.
The theme of ISUSW 2021 is ‘Online Social Work: Practice and Practitioners’. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, many social services were greatly affected. To cope with the current situation, many social workers have moved their services and practice to virtual platforms. The programme provided an opportunity for participants to explore a deeper understanding of the online social work approach with a focus on three key areas: (1) the main features, possibilities, and challenges of online social work; (2) social work practitioners’ experiences of conducting intervention online and (3) field-specific issues related to online social work practice. Participants were able to discover new ideas and practices and critically reflect upon these issues and their relevance for their professional study and practice through different lectures, workshops, and discussions with teachers and students from other universities during the programme.
A group photo of the ISUSW 2021 Opening Ceremony