Social work education in Cyprus: prospects and challenges in developing an indigenous character

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The evolution of the social work education and welfare system in Cyprus is inextricably linked to the country’s recent turbulent history. Social Work in the Republic of Cyprus, although shaped by the country’s turbulent political past and present, is also influenced by Western theory as in many other countries in the Asian and African continent [Gray, M., & Fook, J. (2004). The quest for a universal social work: Some issues and implications, Social Work Education, 23(5), 625–644; Rankopo, M. J., & Hwedie, K. O. (2011). Globalization and culturally relevant social work: African perspectives on indigenization. International Social Work, 54(1), 137–147; Yip, K. S. (2007). Tensions and dilemmas of social work education in China. International Social Work, 50(1), 93–105]. In contrast with social welfare which has a long history (since late nineteenth century), social work education is still at an early stage of development in Cyprus. A non-surprising situation given that social work practice and education, in its early stages, is essentially a modernist Western invention which has a history of silencing marginal voices and importing, into diverse cultural contexts across the world, Western thinking primarily from the UK and the USA (Gray & Fook, 2004). However, if an indigenous social work character is to be developed in Cyprus, and a more distinctive identity with regard to the social work academic curricula is to be demonstrated, then Payne’s [(2001). Knowledge bases and knowledge biases in social work. Journal of Social Work, 1(2), 133–136] views on social work knowledge need further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2017


  • International social work
  • practice/theory/methods
  • professions
  • social work education


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