Student diversity as grass roots internationalisation in social work education


  • Marty Grace Victoria University
  • Rob Townsend
  • Doris Testa Victoria University
  • John Fox
  • Angela Daddow
  • Pauline O'Maley Victoria University
  • Juanita Custance


student, diversity, internationalisation, social work education


Internationalisation of social work education is driven by student diversity as well as by employer demand, the profession internationally, and by universities. Students from diverse backgrounds bring with them their own distinctive cultures, knowledges and ways of being.
At Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, this diversity has prompted us to explore and develop a grass roots approach to internationalisation. This paper gives details of three projects undertaken as part of this exploration. Our approach includes some exploratory research with students, and collaborations with the university’s Curriculum Innovation Unit, Language, Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, and Student Learning Unit. Our work focuses on understanding and embedding into the curriculum, students’ own experiences and ‘funds of knowledge’. At the same time we support students as they develop familiarity with the academic and professional discourses of social work, and advance their academic and professional literacy. This collaborative work is situated within critical social work, critical pedagogy and critical literacy.


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