A group of seven faculty members from the Bachelor of Social Work Degree Programme at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Macao Polytechnic Institute (MPI), led by the Director Prof. Lam Fat Iam, and programme coordinator, Mr. Lau Ping Kuen, visited the Greater Bay Area on 18 and 19 November. The delegation visited the Integrated Service Centre of the General Union of Neighbourhood Associations of Macao in Hengqin, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College (UIC), Guangdong Professional Social Workers Associations and other units to explore the development of community service in the Greater Bay Area, to expand cooperation in the field of social work education, and to promote academic exchanges.
Teachers of the Social Work Degree Programme first visited the Integrated Service Centre of the General Union of Neighbourhood Associations of Macao in Hengqin and was warmly greeted by the Deputy Director of the Centre, Mr. Hong Siu Sang, who introduced the services and facilities of the Centre. The Integrated Services Centre has an area of 1,500 square metres and provides comprehensive services to Macao and the Mainland Chinese residents living in Hengqin. With more and more Macao residents working and living in Hengqin, the demand for social services is increasing. At present, there are already a number of Macao social workers working at the Centre, including graduates of the Social Work Degree Programme of MPI. In order to deepen the understanding of the social service students in Hengqin and Macao, both sides explored the possibility of the Social Work Degree Programme students to practice in Hengqin. Then, the delegation visited the UIC and met with the Director of Social Work and Social Administration Programme, Dr. Chan Kam Tong, and his team to share their experiences and reach a basic consensus on cooperation in student exchange, faculty exchange, and joint research, and to work together to promote the development of social work education in the Greater Bay Area. The delegation then visited the Guangdong Professional Social Workers Association in Guangzhou and had a meeting with Ding Bei, the Executive Vice President of the Association to learn more about the current situation and development of the social work industry in Guangdong Province. They also met with Chen Minyi, the Chief Officer of the Service Development of Qi Chuang Social Service Centre, and teachers from the Department of Social Work at South China Agricultural University.
During the visit, the delegation gained a deeper understanding of social work education and social service work in the Greater Bay Area. They expect to strengthen the exchange and cooperation with other universities and social service organizations in the Greater Bay Area in future so as to continuously improve the quality of education and to cultivate social workers to adapt to the future development of Macao.
The Social Work Programme is one of the oldest programmes of MPI, which has been established for 30 years. The programme is positively reviewed by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ), HK. Currently, more than 1,500 graduates from this programme have been trained to serve in various social service organizations, schools and government departments in Macao.
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