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Social Work Students Secure Scholarships to Present Work at International Conference

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Four Social Work students have been awarded £150 each from the University of Worcester’s Scholarship Panel to help fund a trip to Moscow.

Rachel Gower and Jodie Ternan, who are studying for Masters degrees in Social Work, joined by Blessing Onisha and Shavina Gurung, who are enrolled on a Masters Social Work and Community Studies programme, will participate in a conference held at the Moscow City Pedagogical University on April 22.

Rachel, age 27, from Stourbridge, said: “We are pleased to be awarded with the scholarship which we will use as a contribution towards the costs of getting there.”

The conference is part of the international partnership work between the University of Worcester’s Institute of Health and Society, the Moscow City Pedagogical University and the Centre for Psychological, Medical and Social Support in Dzerzhinsk, Russia.

Blessing, aged 38 from Nigeria, said: “It is a privilege to be part of this partnership; having the opportunity to present at the conference, share our experiences concerning the delivery of welfare services in the UK with Social Work professionals in Russia and then take what we’ll learn back and integrate the positive aspects into our practice.”

The group of students are going to the conference with Joy Gauci, Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Sciences at the University, who will present a paper on theoretical interventions in Social Work practice at the Social Work Faculty in Moscow. The University of Worcester recently hosted a seminar, ‘Understanding Cultural Aspects of Parental Distress and Contemporary Practice Responses – UK and Russian perspectives’, which has been developed in Drezhinsk. This model of participatory practice will be visited during the trip to Moscow.

Joy said: “The partnerships in Moscow and Dzerzhinsk provide rich opportunities for our students to gain understanding of the development of community practice in a very different socio-political culture of welfare. For students who have achieved the scholarships, the trip allows an invaluable opportunity to see and engage first-hand. However, students on site in a range of welfare related subjects have also benefited from the richness of transcultural learning and practice debates as a result of the Russian partnerships. This is the fifth year of student participation in trips to Russia from the University, supported by the scholarship scheme.”

Jodie, age 27 from Birmingham, said: “We are all excited to present at the conference. It is interesting for us to get an insight into Social Work in a very different culture.”

Students can apply to the scholarship scheme at two points in the year (1st December and 1st March) for up to £1,000 towards voluntary work or activities, to pursue a particular interest, ie music or arts, or towards course-related activities.

For information on all courses at University of Worcester visit www.worcester.ac.uk or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk