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26th January 2009, 11:47am
Lincoln leads international team's mission to Russia
Janet Walker The University of Lincoln has secured €1 million in European Union funding to lead an international project to drive up standards of social care education in Russia.

The University's School of Health and Social Care will lead a multi-national consortium to improve the quality of teaching of aspiring social workers in the eastern European country.

The project will involve reforming the curriculum, devising new courses and drafting new textbooks.

It will be funded through a three-year grant which has been awarded by the EU under the Trans European Mobility Scheme for University Studies (TEMPUS) programme.

TEMPUS is aimed at supporting the modernisation of higher education in countries outside the EU – encouraging greater cooperation between academics across the world.

The University of Lincoln’s School of Health and Social Care will lead a consortium of social work departments at four Russian universities in the Volga region of the country: Kazan State Medical University, Nizhnii Novgorod State University, Samara State University and Saratov State Technical University.

Several other European universities will also be involved in the project, including Siegen University in Germany, Democritus University of Thrace in Greece, University of Gdansk in Poland and Kaunas University in Lithuania.

Janet Walker, Principal Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Lincoln, compiled the successful bid.

She said: “Social work in Russia is quite underdeveloped with few resources, and there is still a high degree of poverty there. This project will enable us to help the universities bring their curriculum up to European standards but in a model that is right for Russia. We will help them develop their teaching and learning strategy and learning materials. They will visit Lincoln and we will go over there and we hope to run a summer school and conference.
“Lincoln has an excellent reputation in this field and we are delighted to be leading this important project. We hope that it will open further research opportunities and collaborations between all the universities.”

Malcolm Golightley, Head of the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln, said: “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work. TEMPUS funding is eagerly sought across the EU and this bid was very highly rated. It is an international endorsement of the quality of social care education provided by the University of Lincoln and will open up some exciting new opportunities and relationships for us.”

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