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China Collaborative Celebrates 5 Years of Partnership in Beijing




Over the past 5 years, CSWE has been part of an international collaboration with China through a partnership with the National Supervisory Committee for MSW Education, China Association for Social Work Education, and International Association of Schools of Social Work. The collaborative was created to promote the development of social work education in China and provide opportunities for cross-cultural exchanges and collaboration.

Since 2012, seven universities in the United States have been paired with seven anchoring institutions in mainland China. The partnership with the anchor institutions expanded to numerous regional partnerships in China. Partnership activities focused on building reciprocal relationships and included student and faculty exchanges, faculty training and workshops, and scientific research.

To celebrate 5 years of fruitful partnership, the collaborators met in Beijing, China, June 24–25 to review achievements and look ahead to potential opportunities. The conference, titled China-U.S. Conference on Social Work Collaboration in Education, Theories and Practice, featured an overview of the collaborative’s history, reports from each of the seven partnerships, findings from the external evaluation, and thematic reports related to social work education and research.

The seven partnership reports highlighted collaborative activities, challenges faced, reflections, lessons, achievements, and outcomes. Each partnership displayed unique characteristics and approaches that evolved over the course of the collaboration.

The international external evaluation team, which convened shortly after the collaborative began, consisted of representatives from three countries: Carol S. Cohen, Adelphi University (United States); Yuk Chung Chang, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong); and Susan Lawrence, former head of Social Work London Metropolitan University (United Kingdom). The team’s presentation discussed the evaluation’s objectives, design, and methods. The team’s research prompted the use of a case study approach and identified eight cross-cutting themes. These themes emerged as lessons and best practices from the partnerships. The external evaluation team is finalizing its report, which will be disseminated to numerous scholarly and public audiences.

The second day of the conference included several thematic reports related to social work education and research. CSWE members presented the following reports:   
1.     Tableau and Tableau Public: Data Visualization as Research and Teaching Tools, by Dr. Patrick Leung and Dr. Monit Cheung
2.     Virtual Reality Interventions With Drug Using Populations: Challenges and Opportunities, by Dr. Luis Torres
3.     Adaptation and Translation of Mental Health Evidence-based Interventions in Different Cultures, by Dr. Robin Gearing
4.     Online Social Work Education: Opportunities and Challenges for Schools of Social Work, by Dr. Sebrena Jackson
5.     Evidence-based Practice: Challenges for Social Work Research, by Dr. Bruce Thyer
6.    The 12 Grand Challenges: A Call to Action for Social Work Education and Research, by Dr. Darla Spence Coffey
7.     Spiritual Assessment in Social Work Practice: Identifying and Operationalizing Clients' Sources of Meaning, by Dr. David Hodge
8.     Using Simulation to Teach and Assess Social Work Advanced Practice Skills, by Dr. Robin P. Bonifas
9.     Using 2015 Competency-Based Student Learning Outcome to Level the Playing Field in Social Work Distance Learning Education, by Suh Chen Hsiao, MSW
10.   Collaborative Research: Benefits, Challenges, and Principles, by Dr. Carol Cohen, Dr. Susan Lawrence, and Dr. Yuk Chung Chan
The conference concluded with a session led by President of the Chinese Association of Social Work Education, Professor Xu Yonxiang, and the President of CSWE, Dr. Darla Spence Coffey. They expressed gratitude to the collaborative partners and organizers and shared potential opportunities for future engagement.

CSWE thanks all partners involved with making this collaborative a success, especially China’s National Supervisory Committee for MSW Education, China Association for Social Work Education, and Peking University-The Hong Kong Polytechnic University China Social Work Research Centre, which organized and hosted the conference.