Social work education came about because of many factors, including the vulnerability of people caused by the Industrial Revolution. In South Africa, social work training is undertaken by 16 public universities and one private college. In Eswatini (Swaziland) the training of social workers is done by two institutions of higher learning. With the social work programme being characteristically Western, stakeholders saw the need to indigenise theory to suit local context through field work education. Through teaching of the social work curriculum and cooperative learning experience, social work education should transmit theoretical knowledge into practice.

The area of field education programmes, social work educators, fieldwork learning opportunities, agency supervisors, and challenges encountered in field education is discussed. In exploring the role of social work field education programmes in the transferring of social work knowledge in practice settings, this chapter focuses on a comparative study of social work education in Eswatini and South Africa, in order to ascertain gaps and positive lessons which can be learned.