NTU host Sociology experts from Germany

NTU hosted Professors Kerstin Walther and Ronald Kurt from the Protestant University of Applied Science Bochum, visiting on an ERASMUS funded project.

In October 2016, NTU hosted Professors Kerstin Walther and Ronald Kurt from the Protestant University of Applied Science Bochum, visiting on an ERASMUS funded project.

Dr Chris Towers, who visited Bochum in November, organised a programme involving Social Work and Health and Social Care colleagues. Professors Kerstin Walther and Ronald Kurt taught both Health and Social Care and Social Work students during the course of their week. They showed a film of their research into social work and welfare, which they undertook as part of their trip to Brazil. The documentary ‘Social Work in Brazil’ highlighted issues of poverty. Students reflected on comparisons with the UK while Professor Walther brought in her experience of living and working in Australia, highlighting issues of equality and inequality in the 'sunshine' country, revealing discriminations faced by Aboriginal people.

Students interacted with the international guests, shared experiences and explored questions around the purpose and meaning of social work from diverse perspectives. The guests also visited the National Trust owned workhouse in Southwell and were able to get a feel for some early roots of social policy and social welfare in the UK.

This experience had a deep impact on Professor Walther and Professor Kurt. Social Work Lecturer Pete Benbow writes…

‘The two visitors facilitated a session with first year Social Work BA Hons students, which considered social work in an international perspective. In a lively and interactive session a number of key themes were explored, such as the nature and extent of ‘need’ and the different institutions and frameworks through which 'social work’ is provided across different countries. While differences between the work of social workers in Brazil, Germany and the United Kingdom were identified and discussed, there was also the opportunity to acknowledge common concepts and values which bound them together, such as a shared respect for the people we work with and a commitment to social justice. The session provided a timely reminder of the truly international nature of social work’.

NTU host Sociology experts from Germany

Published on 24 January 2017
  • Category: Press; School of Social Sciences

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