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Durham University Student Social Workers in Solidarity

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Following a shocking revelation of Durham University's proposed intentions to discontinue the Masters of Social Work (MSW) and International Social Work and Community Development (ISWCD) courses, we as students have decided to stand together and dispute what we perceive to be a misjudged and unsubstantiated decision.

The university is proposing this decision based on the following factors:

- The relationship of the programmes to the "strategic priorities" for the school

- The uncertain and limited student recruitment environment and

- The financial position of the programme

As students on these courses, we feel that these excuses are unjust and lacking a degree of substantiation. And if they are factually correct, these are easily rectifiable with a little support from the University. We are concerned that this is a Higher Education institution that would appear to be stating that Social Work is no longer an academic priority, which could lead other Universities following suit. What's more, we fear the implications this may have on social work practice. In particular, we worry that Social Work will become increasingly prescribed, and we will lose the flexibility, adaptability, and academic prowess of the vocation.

The courses in question have been pivotal in influencing people's career choices. Graduates give something back to the North-East community, via the excellent Social Workers entering the profession, who have all successfully complete the high quality training at Durham University. Additionally, alumni, and staff, have moved onto fields of work that have been vital outside of the UK, including work with the United Nations, Ebola Recovery Programmes and Social Protection.

Any support you can offer in defence of our respected and influential courses would be greatly appreciated.

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