SocNet 98 – European Network of Universities/Schools of Social Work was initiated in June 1998 by Menno van Veen (Groningen) and Thomas Trenczek (Jena) during an International Exchange Week between both universities in Groningen.
It was the idea not only to intensify the bilateral exchange but to invite other university partners to establish a broader network of European universities and schools of social work which fosters the exchange of students and lecturers in particular.
The official inaugural meeting of the then invited international coordinators has been conducted between 4th and 6th November 1998 in Jena with participants from Groningen (Menno van Veen and Theo Koning), Jena (Thomas Trenczek), Newcastle (Henry Ross), Porsgrunn (Ketil Eide), Rovaniemi (Iiris Happo), Bremen (Lutz Walk) and Emden (Gertrud Cuers).
The second coordinators’ meeting in January 2001 has been hosted in Porsgrunn (Norway) by Veslemoy Wiese (Porsgrunn). Also in 2001 new partners from Odense (Nicolai Paulsen) und Hasselt (Ilse Vanderstukken) joined the network, and in the following years St. Poelten (Peter Pantucek und Karl Dvorak), Ceske Budeovice (Adela Mojzisova), Leuven (Maurits Wysmans), Linz (Carolyn Mayr) and Malaga (Maria Luisa Gomez Jimenez) joined the network. Meanwhile, the network includes the following partners:
- Bournemouth University, Faculty of Social Sciences and Social Work (England)
- City University of Applied Sciences Bremen, School of Social Work, Bremen (Germany)
- College of Polytechnics Jihlava (Czech Republic)
- Ernst-Abbe-University of Applied Sciences Jena, Department of Social Work, Jena (Germany)
- Glasgow Caledonian University, Department of Psychology, Social Work and Applied Health Sciences (Scotland)
- Hanzehogeschool Groningen, Univ. of Appl. Sciences, School of Social Studies, Groningen (The Netherlands)
- Humak University of Applied Sciences, NGO and Youth Work Unit, Helsinki (Finland)
- PXL Hogeschool Limburg, School of Social Work, Hasselt (Belgium)
- University College Leuven-Limburg, School of Social Work, Leuven (Belgium)
- University College Lillebaelt, Department of Social Work, Odense (Denmark)
- University College of South East Norway, School of Social Work, Porsgrunn (Norway)
- University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer, Department of Social Work, Emden (Germany)
- University of Applied Sciences St. Poelten, Department of Social Sciences, St. Poelten (Austria)
- University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, School of Applied Health and Social Sciences, Linz (Austria)
- University of South Bohemia Ceske Budejovice, Faculty of Health and Social Studies, Budweis (Czech Republic)
The network relies and lives based not only on a working structure (annual international university weeks in spring as well as coordinators meeting each autumn) but, most important, on reliable personal contact of the international coordinators. Since the beginning, the most important part of our network activities was the organisation of the International University Weeks (IUWs) every year as well as fostering the individual exchange of students and lecturers.
What do we expect from our existing and potential new members?
All exsting and new SocNet98 members neet to be interested in and ready to:
- Sign bilateral Erasmus Agreements with all SocNet98 partner universities
- Actively exchange students and lecturers
- Organise an International University Week every 3nd or 4th year
- Send students and lecturers to International University Weeks in other European countries
- Send an authorised representative to the annual coordinators’ meetings
We expect and provide responsibility and active participation of our members and are also interested in welcoming new partners in our network, especially from countries or regions that are so far not represented yet.