The non-profit sector and volunteering in the USA, child welfare and protection services in the UK, classification and evaluation of social work theories in Finland, were among the lecture topics given by foreign experts and visiting scholars that FSS UO students had the opportunity to attend. During the winter semester we welcomed several foreign professors at our Faculty of Social Studies.
As mentioned in earlier articles, FSS is currently hosting a visiting Fullbright scholar Salvatore Alaimo from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, USA. In addition to conducting research in the non-profit sector, he has also been involved in teaching both international students in the International Project Management programme and Czech students in the Development and Management in Social Work follow-up Master’s degree programme. Professor Alaimo participated in teaching the “Strategic Planning and Management in Social Work” course led by Dr. Anna Musialová, and the “Economics of Funding of Social Work Services and Fundraising” course led by Dr. Šárka Kopřivová.
In November 2022, the eminent expert Prof. Brian Littlechild, based at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, lectured at our Faculty. Professor Littlechild came already for the second time as a visiting professor under the To Be In project. He gave a lecture on “The use and value of conceptual mapping in the development of theoretical approaches and methods in qualitative social work research” intended for PhD students of the Social Work programme. After that the PhD students had the opportunity to consult individually on their dissertations. Whereas, students of the follow-up Master’s degree programme Social Work with Family in the full-time and combined (part-distance) form of study could gain interesting and valuable experience and information in the area of child welfare and protection in the UK. Prof. Littlechild lectured them on “Child protection system in Great Britain, Introduction and Substitute family care, Children in a public care”. The lectures were held as part of the “Social and Legal Protection of Children in the International Context” course led by Dr. Monika Chrenková.
As part of the CEEPUS exchange programme, we were visited by Associate Professor Ondrej Botek from the University of Trnava. His presentation was focused on social policy and social security in an international context and was meant for students of the follow-up Master’s Joint Degree Programme in Social Work and Social Entrepreneurship.
In December 2022, under the To Be In project we welcomed the second visiting professor, Prof. Juha Erkki Antero Hämäläinen, from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. He gave lectures to both Master’s and PhD students, to whom dissertation consultations were then offered. PhD students attended a lecture on “The use and value of conceptual mapping in the development of theoretical approaches and methods in qualitative social work research”. In the course entitled “Development of Theoretical Concepts of Social Work”, taught by Assoc. Prof. Marie Špiláčková, Hämäläinen focused on the topics of Classification and evaluation of social work theories, Relationship between theory-practice, Philosophy of science, and Social work as a scientific solution to the problem.
We greatly appreciate the cooperation with our foreign partners and thank them for their participation and involvement in teaching as well as in other scientific research activities. These are very valuable partnerships that are of great benefit to students of social work and others. “Internationalization at home” has proven to be the great success at the Faculty.