Social Work in a Global World: Opportunities for Innovation (SoWGloW)

SoWGlow. logo

The project’s main goal is to prepare social work students to contribute with innovative and sustainable solutions to challenges relevant at a global level, concretely policymaking and advocacy to cater for citizens’ needs; mental health resources and challenges; social innovation and entrepreneurship for work inclusion.

For USN, a major challenge is to develop courses relevant to international students at BA-level. For our partner, California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) a major challenge is to facilitate international exchange as many of their students are in precarious economic circumstances.

To provide international perspectives and learning environments to a maximum number of students, our emphasis in this project is first on developing a portfolio of digital
learning resources. This portfolio will be used when conducting the course at USN and to facilitate mutual online learning environments for students not travelling. The project is tailored to contribute to a sustainable climate but also enables travel for a restricted number of staff and students.

There are five main project activities and associated expected results:

1) Strengthen the collaboration between USN and CSUDH by engaging in student and faculty exchange throughout and beyond the project period.

2) Jointly, with extensive student participation, design, develop and implement a
15 ECTS course, comprised of four English-language modules to incoming students at USN and to students participating online.

3) Include students from other partner institutions in student exchange and collaborative online international learning (COIL), for instance within the Erasmus
network SocNet98 including 18 partner universities.

4) Develop a portfolio of sustainable digital learning resources disseminated open access and integrated in BA-programs at USN (“Barnevern”; “Vernepleie”)
and CSUDH (“Human services”).

5) Document and disseminate project resources and outcomes to other universities, to social work practitioners internationally, and to academia.

Social Work in a Global World: Opportunities for Innovation
(15 ECTS): 

Today’s social workers must be prepared to contribute with inno­vative and sustainable solutions to global challenges of migration, climate change, aging, and income and social inequalities as described in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

In this course you will in great part study together with students from USNs bachelor programs in Child Protection and Child Welfare and Social Educator and Learning Disability Nursing.

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Social Entrepreneurship - Practice placement (15 ECTS): 

In addition to SoWGloW there is also a possibility to apply for additional 15 ETCS in the course Social Entrepreneurship Practice Placement, to make a full fall semester of 30 ECTS.

The overall learning outcome for this practice placement is to empower students with the requisite theoretical foundations and frameworks for critically evaluating the drivers and barriers of social innovation and social entrepreneurship across various national contexts; to enhance students’ competences and skills in project planning, emphasizing the consideration of real societal issues with a stakeholder approach, and provide students with invaluable hands-on experience through work placements at Norwegian social enterprises.

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The Socialpod

The project is progressing as planned, and here you can hear about the project members first reflection on how it is to work across borders, online, and finally meeting in person after Covid-19

Project title: Social Work in a Global World: Opportunities for Innovation (SoWGloW)

Project coordinator: Steinar Vikholt


Fields of education and training: Social work

Project period: 08/2021 - 07/2025

Funding: 3 000 000 NOK from the Diku programme UTFORSK

An important aim of UTFORSK is to strengthen higher education for a sustainable future. The programme supports the establishment of long-term partnerships between Norway and Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and the USA