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HistoryThe general public’s impression of the Department of Social Work is often limited to its function in training compassionate social workers. Yet NTU’s Department of Social Work takes a step further. Our educational objective is to cultivate students with high sensitivity to the society’s needs, who can leverage their professional skills and knowledge to realize social justice. We strive to accomplish these goals through various approaches, focusing on both theoretical research and practical involvement to address the wide range of challenges facing the underprivileged in our society.
The Department positions itself as “doers” – caring about the disadvantaged is insufficient, and one has to roll up the sleeves and work with them to solve the problems. Therefore, the Department prioritizes student empowerment to develop their capabilities of taking action and implementing solutions on the ground. We believe that “wherever the needs are, there will be social workers.” Through concrete action, we want to help solve social problems and realize social justice. Since our inception, we have trained a large number of social workers and social work practitioners, and we pride ourselves for our contribution to the social welfare development in Taiwan.
The Department was originally the Division of Social Work under the Department of Sociology, and we officially became a separate program responsible for our own recruitment in 1981. Finally, in 2002, the Department of Social Work was established and the core mission was defined as grooming social work practitioners through our undergraduate and graduate programs.
Our undergraduate program focuses on theoretical and practical training, so that the students not only learn fundamental knowledge about social work, but also gain the relevant hands-on training that can closely meet the needs of the society. All undergraduates must complete at least 400 hours of internship. Our master program is centered on advanced professional training, aiming to train professionals in the fields of social welfare administration, research and practice. The Ph.D. program bears the mission in training advanced social work and social welfare scholars, teachers and researchers.
To expand the international exposure of our students, NTU’s Department of Social Work has established cooperation agreements with many acclaimed social work schools abroad. We have also initiated a summer internship program with the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, in which we select top undergraduate and graduate students to work in local U.S. institutions through a rigorous screening system. These students acquire social work knowledge, and also learn about local cultures and welfare systems. All our Ph.D. students are also required to conduct short-term research studies in overseas academic institutions so as to foster global perspectives.
In addition to cultivating professional skills, the Department’s educational philosophy also strongly encourages the students to explore their interests. We train them in teamwork and problem-solving skills and in developing altruism, empathy, and social sensitivity, which are transferable to any profession they might take on in the future.
NTU’s Department of Social Work plays an indispensable role in the social work field in Taiwan. Our graduates become frontline social workers who help solve the most imminent problems at the grass-root level. We also have many graduates who work in the academic and government sector to tackle the root causes of many social problems, including numerous high-level political appointees and leaders who shoulder the development of the nation’s welfare policies. Together we are dedicated to fostering and shaping a Taiwanese society that is genuinely supportive of the lives of the underprivileged.