My first visit to Taiwan will always bring many positive memories. I am thankful for Taipei National University Department of Social Work for inviting me to speak on my research in social work distance education during the reading week. It was a great opportunity to share my knowledge and here the perspective of local social work educators and students on possibilities of social work distance education in Taiwan. It also allowed me to learn more about social work education in Taiwan.
Taiwanese Social Work Education Association promotes social work education and develops social work related studies. Unfortunately, no English version of the website is available. However, Taiwan Association of Social Workers listed all the programs that I also mapped on Google map for Schools of Social Work Around the World. The list of 23 universities that have social work/social welfare programs are listed below and included on the Google Map.
One can learn about the education system in Taiwan using Wikipedia as many resources are not available in English. The social work in Taiwan is discussed in a brief by Huang Pei Jie and Ku Yeun Wen. Another article by unnamed authors focuses on Taiwan’s Social Work Profession Development: Professionalism vs. National Professionalism. The extensive bibliography at the end of the article allows finding additional resources on the development of social work profession in Taiwan. A detailed review of social work profession in Taiwan and its current challenges are provided in the following article in Taiwan Review: Serving the Sick and the Underprivileged. The article suggests that “There are three main career opportunities in social work—academia, administration, including policymaking, and direct social work practice. At the same time, the growing demand for qualified social workers has necessitated an improvement in their professional education”.
Some history of social work education is also given: “social work education has developed in Taiwan for more than 50 years. Nevertheless, in the initial period, it was considered a sub-discipline of sociology. It was not until National Taiwan University in Taipei devised separate curricula for social work and sociology students in 1973 and Tunghai University in Taichung, central Taiwan followed suit with separate social work and sociology departments in 1979 that social work started to be recognized as an independent academic discipline”.
Some additional academic research on social work in Taiwan include
Chou, Y. C., Haj-Yahia, M. M., Wang, F. T., & Fu, L. Y. (2006). Social work in Taiwan: A historical and critical review. International Social Work, 49(6), 767-778.
Chen, H. Y., Tung, Y. T., & Tang, I. C. (2014). Teaching about human rights in a social work undergraduate curriculum: The Taiwan experience. The British Journal of Social Work, 45(8), 2335-2350.
The list will be updated as I keep exploring the development of social work education in Taiwan. I want to thank the local people in Taipei for their hospitality, especially my friend Irene and her family as well as friends of my friends (吳宗鴻 ) who made me feel welcomed in Taiwan and special thank you to faculty, staff and students at the Taipei National University (Drs. Chao-Yin and Wei Hsi-sheng) and Taiwan National University (Dr. Yi-Yi Chen) for sharing their knowledge and expertise about social work education in Taiwan.