Movetia was invited to the symposium “Social Work as a Seismograph for Social Change” at the FHS St. Gallen University of Applied Sciences on 4 July 2019. The event is part of the project of the same name, which was funded by Movetia in 2018 within the “2018-2020 international pilot programme”. The participants included students and lecturers, experts and leaders from Switzerland, Ukraine, Belarus and Albania.

How is social change making itself felt in eastern and western European countries respectively? What kind of skills are needed in social work as a practice and how can those skills be imparted at universities and higher education institutions? With these and other questions, FHS St. Gallen is examining how training in social work can be expanded and improved in the face of today’s global challenges, in collaboration with the National University Chernihiv in Ukraine with the project “Social Work as a Seismograph for Social Change”.  

Blended mobility und interdisciplinarity

With this project, FHS St. Gallen is strengthening its recently formed partnership with the Ukrainian university and, with the exchange of experience and ideas about very different social realities, also broadening knowledge of the subject in its own university. In addition, “blended mobility” is been tried out for the collaboration too. Along with the symposium, Swiss students and lecturers also went on a 6-day mobility trip to the Ukraine, and a 10-day intensive programme has been held in Switzerland. In the context of interdisciplinarity, various expert and interest groups presented examples of good practice and developed new teaching methods to share experience and ideas. Highly relevant funding objectives of the international pilot programme are being implemented in this way. The collaboration is helping to improve and raise the quality of our education system in the field of social work. This is a subject area which can make a socially relevant contribution in this day and age in particular.

Movetia also wants to use the international pilot programme to strengthen the worldwide network of Swiss educational institutions. In 2018, a total of seven projects were supported. Movetia is following their implementation very closely with the aim of optimising the funding instruments on a continuous basis.