chapter  5
20 Pages

Social Work in Higher Education

Rationale, Location and Scope

This chapter opens the discussion about the nature of social work as a discipline by considering some of the structural characteristics of the subject area. These include its organisational location and scope, and some aspects of its epistemological characteristics and its relation to other disciplines. The chapter commences with a discussion of the rationale for social work’s location in higher education, based on the views of leading UK social work academics. They voiced strong support for the subject’s continued existence and development as a discipline in higher education. Assuming a continuing place for social work education in higher education, questions arise about organisational location and visibility of it as a named subject area. The relationship between social work and other disciplines further indicates its wide ranging or unclear nature. By the time of the 1994 survey, all institutions had partnership arrangements in place and only five respondents indicated the minimum collaboration required of one institution and one agency.