Almost agreement at division Health Care and Social Work

Unit participation council yet to agree to final proposals

  • Division Health Care and Social Work will get four ‘study units’.
  • Director Ineke van der Wal: ‘Social Work will become a strong brand.’

The fusion of study programmes Social Work and Social Services (MWD), Social Educational Care (SPH), and Educational Theory (Pedagogiek) into one study programme ‘Social Work’ is nearing completion. Ineke van der Wal, director at division Health Care and Social Work, is confident that the unit participation council will soon agree to the latest components of the division’s organisation development plan.

In the nearly final plan it states there will be four ‘study units’. Apart from Social Work, which launches in September, there will be three more: Nursing, ‘Entrepeneurial and Innovative’, and ‘Lifelong Learning’. In recent years Nursing has grown so strongly, that it is decided it deserves its own independent position. In Lifelong Learning the part-time study programmes and Associate Degree are combined. Van der Wal thinks of this unit as mostly innovative: ‘In here we will expand our earlier experiments with regards to the Flexibilization pilot.’ Within the unit ‘Entrepreneurial and Innovative’ you will find the ‘old’ study programmes Applied Gerontology, Speech and Language therapy, and Educational Management Childcare. Three smaller study programmes, that will receive a ‘development assignment’ with the intention to grow. Managers will be above all four study units: three with Social Work, two with Nursing; the others will all get one.

The most difficult task of the entire operation, for the Management Team and the unit participation council, was the amount of responsibility for the teams of the different units. They will not be responsible for results just yet. Van der Wal: ‘We agreed that if a unit wants to move on with regards to own responsibilities, for example in the field of study success or quality, it will be possible – however only when the manager gives permission and all teams have to participate. The norm is: first the teams must get to work and assure proper education. They will not be real Result Orientated Teams just yet.’

In recent months there were many insecurities about how the study programme Social Work would turn out to be and what consequences it would have for the individual teachers. Van der Wal is convinced these insecurities were unfounded. The quality of education will not be endangered. There will not be a substantial change in the number of students and contact hours. The bachelor completion rate of the division is rising, and Van der Wal does not see a reason to assume that this will change. However, how the new study programmes will do remains the main question. Will students go to different universities if they want to study Educational Theory? Van der Wal does not believe that. According to her, Social Work will be a ‘strong brand’.

‘The study programme in Rotterdam has existed for two years already, and everything is fine there. The three study programmes have much in common, and with Social Work we will get three completion profiles that look a lot like the old profiles. However, it will be challenging’ In the meantime, new initiatives are being developed within the division, to stimulate name awareness of the new study programme. (MH)

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