Short History of SocNet98

Short History of SocNet98

We are a network of social work faculties that was under the scheme of Erasmus Life Long Learning program of the European Union (higher educational institutions). SocNet98 was founded in 1998 during an international conference in Groningen (NL) and Jena (Germany) by universities of Groningen, Emden, Jena, Odense and Porsgrunn. In the meantime the network includes several partners all over Europe.

In 2018, we could celebrate our 20th anniversary. Find out more about the developments of these two decades in this presentation: “SocNet98 20th Anniversary – History and Reflections

From the very beginning until today, 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 4 and 6 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)
  • Constantine The Philosopher University in Nitra (Slovak Republic)
  • Edinburgh Napier University, School of Health and Social Care (Scotland)
  • Ernst-Abbe-University of Applied Sciences Jena, Department of Social Work, Jena (Germany)
  • Hanzehogeschool Groningen, University of Applied Sciences, School of Social Studies, Groningen (The Netherlands)
  • Humak University of Applied Sciences, NGO and Youth Work Unit, Helsinki (Finland)
  • PXL University College of Applied Sciences and Arts, Department PXL-Social Work, Hasselt (Belgium)
  • UCL University College, Department of Social Work, Odense (Denmark)
  • UCLL – University College Leuven-Limburg, School of Social Work, Leuven (Belgium)
  • 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 Girona, Faculty of Education and Psychology (Spain)
  • University of South Bohemia Ceske Budejovice, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Budweis (Czech Republic)
  • University of South-Eastern Norway, School of Social Work, Porsgrunn (Norway)
  • University Toulouse 2 Jean-Jaures – IUT Figeac, Departement Carrieres Sociales, Figeac (France)

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.