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Social Work.


Social Work.

The Social Work programme of 30 credits is organized in the spring semester and aims at offering higher education from an international, intercultural and interdisciplinary point of view. Studies have shown that exchange experiences have long-lasting positive effects on students. Collaboration, networking and connection are important action tools for every social worker to win the battle against social inequity. Therefore as a future social worker it is very important to stimulate international awareness and exchange to understand and address global social issues.

The programme is open for Belgian and international students and aims to develop international and intercultural competences facing current and global topics for social work. The programme stimulates exchange and collaboration between social work students from different countries, offering field visits, guest lecturers and study trips abroad.

Practical info

  • Welcome days: 8 & 9 February 2024
  • Start of the programme: 12 February 2024
  • Start of exams: 21 May 2024
  • End of semester: 30 June 2024


Questions about the content of the program?

Contact your International Academic Coordinator: nicole.vanhoucke@hogent.be

Practical questions?

Contact your Incoming Student Advisor: incoming@hogent.be

This programme offers the following courses during the spring semester for a total of 30 credits
  • History (international) social work and the social schools
  • Social work as an international profession
  • International organizations, federations, networks and associations social work
  • International social work practice: basic social work methods, community development
  • International Themes of Social Work: Current Challenges for the Social Professional and Social Work Practice

This course invites you to approach social work from a broader perspective and to explore (social work practices) beyond the boundaries of your own context. As an Erasmus student you follow this course together with the regular social work students of HOGENT. In this way we stimulate both formal and informal and non-formal learning of students. A short mobility (to Portugal or Italy) also takes place in this course (travel costs borne by the student). We enter into (online) dialogue with students from Portugal and/or Italy and have (foreign) guest speakers who share their expertise with us.

Go to study guide

Community building offers a unique perspective for understanding human rights in social work. In this course we explore community building practices in constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing human rights 'from the bottom up'.

In the first part we discuss different perspectives of community building on human rights. The following theoretical frameworks are discussed, among others: social movements and human rights, human rights and shadow work, non-formal approaches to human rights, an Ubuntu perspective on human rights and human rights-friendly cities and communities.

In a second part, we examine current cases at the intersection of human rights and community building. Different domains of injustice are studied from the perspective of human rights and community building, such as e.g. (child) poverty, social inequality, migration and food aid. When exploring human rights and community building, the diversity of cultural horizons will be taken into account as a precondition for 'human rights of down' to understand.

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During this course, students will:

  • be able to make a critical discourse analysis of 'social problems' and the container term 'sustainability'
  • be able to situate the development of the term 'sustainability' in a timeline
  • be able to develop the craft of using sustainability als a evaluational framework for their profession


  • What's the problem? Sustainability and social work: an analysis of the discourse. (A. Verbruggen)
  • Transition thinking incorporated: towards a new discussion framework on sustainable urban projects (T. Block)
  • Learning topics on the 5P's: people, planet, profit, prosperity, proces
  • Guest lectures, article readings and study visits

Go to study guide

Our world is a globalized and globalizing world. This does not only mean that we have access to an increasing amount of information of the world and that it is much easier to travel nowadays. Globalization also implies that, more than ever, people from other parts of the world come to our country, not only as tourists but also to try and build a new (and better) life. A globalized society is composed of a diverse set of cultures. A global understanding of this diversity, or even superdiversity, is thus necessary.

This course wishes to contribute to the development and establishment of a platform for learning about other cultures for students without the need to travel to a distant country. Modern electronic and digital means, such as videoconferencing, Skype, Facetime, ... allow home based learning of other cultures.

After a thorough introduction to the subject of Global Understanding, Flemish students will participate in a discussion with Erasmus students who have also joined the course on global understanding. In a second phase, the group will join a discussion on selected subjects with students from Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts and universities from different parts of the world.

Important questions and topics include:

  • How can we get ourselves familiar with other cultures?
  • What are the stepping stones in order to create more tolerance in society?
  • How can we deal with stereotypes and prejudice?
  • How does a democratic society relate to global understanding?

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Important decisions on whether and how to prevent drug abuse, criminal behaviour and violence are too often made based on shallow grounds. 
Social workers and health promotors need to have a grasp on the science base of prevention. They need the capacity to translate it to the floor of practice addressing not only youth in schools, but also adults in the workplace or people in the community. 

Peer van der Kreeft leads a European network of researchers and practitioners establishing a standardized training model on prevention. 

The robust training is delivered to the students in an interactive way.

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It is appropriate to justify why this course was included in the programme. Flanders and Europe have been the subject of different historical migrations and form a community of different cultures.

We live in a multicultural society. Moreover, the increasing economic globalization and the development of new and faster forms of transport and communication have caused distance and time to shrivel. The world has become a "global village". The care worker is increasingly confronted with people from different cultural backgrounds and should handle those differences properly and be aware of his own "cultural" glasses.

The course is based on the TOPOI model. TOPOI is the abbreviation of language, structure, persons, organization and effort. These are the five areas in which cultural differences and misunderstandings can take place. The TOPOI model includes a practical analysis and intervention framework to detect and deal with these cultural differences and misunderstandings in an intercultural contact.

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Start locally, debate globally can be the stage of the U!reka partner institutions that offers university and university college students, teachers and interested parties a forum for reflection on those relevant social, cultural and scientific themes. One kick-off session is given by the organizing institution with detailed information about the course. This will be followed by an opening lecture.

The other partners organize 2 lectures, one in each semester, with the same theme given by experts from various fields or disciplines. Each lecture is followed by a debate or by questions from the audience.

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Ready to come to Ghent?

Then check out our practical guide!