Updated on Sep 24, 2012 - 8:27 p.m. IST by Saima Siddiqui
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Event: 60th anniversary of NUS Department of Social Work, Singapore

Date: 21st September 2012

Details: NUS Department of Social Work celebrated its 60th anniversary with students, faculty members, alumni and representatives from the social work community. Marking the anniversary celebration were a symposium, the launch of the S R Nathan Professorship in Social Work, and the unveiling of the book Ebb and Flow: 60 years of Social Work Education in Singapore. 

Former Singapore president Mr S R Nathan and a social work alumnus noted that the challenges ahead for social work lie in encouraging more people to take part in community problem-solving and meeting the needs of families who are disadvantaged by the changing social and economic circumstances. He said" "We have a role to play in drawing attention of the community not only of the existence of today's problems but also to urge others to take ownership, address and do something about them," adding that "the more helping hands we have the better".

NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, who launched the Professorship, said that it will allow the University to "bring in renowned academic leaders to advance social education and research among scholars in Singapore and Asia on issues related to social development, poverty, family development and asset building." 

Earlier in the day, during the symposium, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence Mr Chan Chun Sing talked about the aspirations for social workers. He elaborated on the social work profession in Singapore with special mention about building stronger linkages between social work educators, social workers and policy makers. He further mentioned promoting lifelong learning among social workers with funding for further education and improving the prospects of the profession. Mr Chan also examined the various points against the backdrop of globalisation and Singapore's ageing population. 

Moving forward, the Department of Social Work will be looking at consolidating graduate programmes such as student exchange for Masters and Doctoral students with partner universities. Recruitment of high calibre faculty staff to enhance the teaching experience is also on the future agenda. The Department will particularly focus on Asia Pacific, with an aim to forge closer relationships with institutions in the region.

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