Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Graduates give new bicultural degree thumbs up

Thursday, 30 November 2006

Social work graduates give new bicultural degree at MIT thumbs up

Manukau Institute of Technology social work graduates have welcomed the new bicultural Bachelor of Applied Social Work degree, stating it will further empower future graduates to work effectively within diverse communities.

The degree will be officially launched on Wednesday, 13 December. It meets the New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board’s new registration requirements for social workers and replaces MIT’s Diploma in Social Work from next year.

Diploma graduates, such as Hoang Doan of Mangere East, have welcomed the degree.

The degree addresses the cultural, mental health, social services and youth behaviour needs of Counties Manukau communities, especially migrants and refugees, says Hoang.

Originally from Vietnam, Hoang is a part time information officer at the Multilingual Information Service at Citizens Advice Bureau in Three Kings and a community support worker at Spectrum Care in Onehunga.

He has enrolled in the new degree to become a fully qualified social worker in New Zealand’s multi-cultural environment. “It will enable me to help and support not only Vietnamese people but also the public at large.”

Fellow Diploma in Social Work graduate and Mangere resident, Kathryn Ross, says the degree will deliver higher qualified social workers in the region, which will greatly benefit local communities.

“People need social workers to help them in tough situations when they want someone to talk to and give them a different and broader perspective on their problems.”

According to MIT social work co-leader, Riki Paniora, the new qualification has been created to address the serious shortage of qualified social workers in New Zealand.

As New Zealand’s population continues to change and grow the degree will fully equip those who work within their communities with the tools they need to make a difference, he says.

“This is a truly bicultural degree with traditional social work theories and Maori knowledge integrated through the programme. It is unique as it looks at social work from two world views as defined by the Treaty of Waitangi while being inclusive of other ethnicities in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

MIT social work lecturer Moses Faleolo adds the degree includes a strong Pasifika focus, which gives it an edge over social work programmes offered elsewhere.

“The way Pacific social work theories and practices are integrated into the degree alongside mainstream and Maori approaches, is unrivalled. The content is strongly influenced by traditional Pasifika concepts, such as Faasamoa.”

Another unique aspect of the degree is the inclusion of a migrant module covering both Asian and South East Asian social work theories and practice perspectives, says Moses.

Because of this multi-cultural perspective, the degree will relate to the diverse cultural communities of the Counties Manukau region and will attract students from diverse ethnic backgrounds to the social work field, says Moses.

“It will help remove cultural barriers between social workers and their clients, as graduates will have a better understanding of how people from different cultures approach social issues.”

MIT’s new bicultural Bachelor of Applied Social Work is a three-year Level 7 qualification and has been created to address the serious shortage of qualified social workers in New Zealand. It was developed jointly by MIT’s Department of Social Sciences and Te Tari Matauranga Maori (Department of Maori Education).


About MIT

Manukau Institute of Technology is one New Zealand’s largest polytechnics. It offers 140 formal programmes at degree, diploma and certificate level to 6891 equivalent full time students. Established in 1970 as the country’s first purpose built polytechnic, MIT delivers vocational training. With a workforce of 900, MIT is one of the biggest employers in the Counties Manukau region. Manukau City is New Zealand’s fastest growing metropolis.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Joel Coen's Monochromatic Macbeth

The Bard of Avon may well be smirking up the sleeves of his lace doublet at the irony of Will Smith's Oscar debacle, but now that the initial furore has dissipated, it's worth revisiting the movie for which Denzel Washington was also nominated. More>>

Howard Davis: Kenneth Branagh’s Black & White Belfast

Branagh has assembled a wonderful cast, including Ciarán Hinds, a gently formidable actor who well deserves his Oscar nomination, and Judi Dench, who steals every scene she’s in. More>>

Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland