Tapping into the wealth and knowledge of academia to further common goals
February 1, 2023
In the context of the Swiss-funded Leave No One Behind program, a partnership was established between UNDP and the universities of Tirana, Shkodra, and Elbasan. The partnership entails designing and executing customized continuing education programs for practicing social workers, enhancing students' educational practice (internships), and refining ethics in scientific research.
Thus, an 8-member academic staff team from the three Albanian universities, including the head of the Albanian Order of Social Work, visited Switzerland to observe the good practices at the University of Lucerne and converse about concrete areas of cooperation and the need for support from this University.
With 850 students in education, around 2,000 participants in continuing education, and 140 employees, the University of Lucerne is one of Switzerland's most esteemed universities for social work. Through teaching, continuing education, research, and services, the university strives to develop social work in Switzerland and beyond. Knowledge transfer between theory and practice is a key element of this partnership with HSLU.
During their stay in Lucerne, the Albanian professors became acquainted with the structure of their host university—its departments, courses, and modules related to social work. They had also visited various service providers that host students from University of Lucerne for practice or internship purposes or employ social workers who have graduated from this school.
At the end of their visit, they identified and articulated areas where guidance from their Swiss colleagues would be beneficial, such as improving curriculum literature, increasing the capacity of service providers to host social work students for practice or internships, and developing continuing education programs for practicing social workers.
"Leave no one behind" is a United Nations joint project implemented by UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, and UN Women. With unwavering support and long-standing commitment from the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, the project works to boost opportunities for vulnerable communities to access social care services wherever they are.
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