The objective of OEL308 is to provide students with the conceptual tools and learning experiences to develop a deeper understanding of social work and social welfare strategy in Hong Kong. The objective is achieved through a combination of service-learning, e-learning, classroom activities, and participation in an overseas trip to Hong Kong, SAR. Hong Kong’s way of life is very much shaped by its industrial growth and its complex political landscape such as its relationship with mainland China and its multiple political parties. There are close similarities between Singapore and Hong Kong in their experience of rapid modernization, including an aging population, change of family structure, declining birth rate, and rising inequality. Through witnessing social work and social welfare strategy in Hong Kong, and critically reflecting on its relationships with the consequences of rapid modernization, students would be able to better compare between Singapore and Hong Kong, and hence aid in their development as future professionals in the social service sector. In this course, students will learn about best practices in program implementation and design, training and professional development through visits to social work organizations, NGOs and various welfare and foundations. Apart from purposeful exchange and dialogues with social workers, university students, and faculty members, students will also be exposed to different service units and how they function within the larger profession. The agency and community-based visits will also further deepen their knowledge and application of related social work theories and concepts. While the focus is predominantly on social work, social policy and human development, students will also experience the historical, political and economic forces that constitute the modernisation pathway taken by Hong Kong, and how these led to the social issues that are being tackled by the social service sector.
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January