University hosts German students in exchange project

Robert Gordon University is currently playing host to a delegation of students and academic staff from the Social Studies department of Georg-Simon-Ohm University, Bavaria.

The most recent development in a long-standing partnership between the two universities, the Nürnberg Study Group project is intended to expose the German students to Scottish social work practice and legislation through a series of workshops and site visits to some of Aberdeen's leading social enterprises.

The Study Group project kicks off on Thursday morning (6 May) when the delegation of twelve undergraduate students and two professors from the Ohm Hochschule in Nürnberg will be welcomed by staff from the School of Applied Social Studies and then taken for a tour of the Faculty of Health and Social Care, on the University's Garthdee campus.

The seven day programme will comprise workshops, projects and social events. The workshops will include an exploration of Scottish social work regulations, the Scottish Children's Hearing system including a simulation, racial equality, residential childcare and participation in social work practice. The visiting students and staff will also attend presentations by the Drug Treatment and Testing Order Team, and visit Station House Media Unit in Woodside, Aberdeen, and the Aberdeen Foyer.

A number of social events have also been built into the programme including meals with host students and academic staff, an outing to Dunnottar Castle and an outdoors activity.

Robert Gordon University and Georg-Simon-Ohm University have enjoyed a long standing relationship that has been established through the EU's Erasmus Programme. Thus far, it has predominantly consisted of each playing host to exchange students during the third year of an undergraduate degree in Social studies, plus staff exchanges throughout the academic year.

The partnership reached a new level in December 2009 when Rob Mackay, a lecturer from the School of Applied Social studies, took a small group of students to Nürnberg for one week to experience a series of workshops and visit social enterprises within the region. The field trip proved to be a resounding success and, as a consequence, a reciprocal trip was immediately planned.

"Social Work is an international profession and it is very important that our home students are able to locate social work within its broader international context," comments Rob. "The purpose of this brief international programme is to strive to provide an internationalising experience for as many students as possible and especially for those students who feel they cannot go on the longer period of a study period abroad."

The visiting delegation will fly back to Bavaria next Thursday morning, following a farewell meal the night before.

Note to editors:

There will be an opportunity to photograph the visiting German students just before their welcome presentation at 12.30 pm on Thursday 6 May at the Faculty of Health and Social Care.

Andrew Youngson
Communications Officer
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262389