December 21st 2023

20 years of the Department of Social Work

The Department of Social Work is celebrating its 20th anniversary at MCI this year, and we are looking back on achievements and challenges.


The success story of the Department of Social Work began in 2003 under the leadership of Michael Klassen and two other members of staff, at that time still with the diploma program in Social Work.

In the course of the Bologna reform, the Diploma degree in Social Work was replaced by the bachelor's degree in Social Work in 2007 and the range of courses was expanded in 2010 to include the master's degree in Social Work, Social Policy & Management.

Today, the team of the Department of Social Work consists of 16 people and has been headed by Belachew Gebrewold since 2014.

However, the field of Social Work is subject to ongoing changes and new challenges, which is why the content of the degree program is constantly being adapted to current developments and expanded to include future-oriented topics.

We look back with pleasure on the design of our study programs, which have been shaped by the expertise of various team members over the past 20 years. We are particularly proud that Silvia Staub-Bernasconi, Werner Obrecht and Kaspar Geiser in particular, as key representatives of the "Zurich School" and Social Work as a human rights and needs-oriented "science of action", have played a key role in the Social Work theoretical orientation of the degree program and that students have had the opportunity to meet these experts in courses.

1171 graduates have already been accompanied through their studies on this basis. By carrying out around 99 practical projects, they were able to test their theoretical knowledge on practical problems and create added value for numerous institutions as well as for their personal and professional development, and as part of the international semester, they were able to spend time abroad at 28 different partner universities/destinations.

We are proud to follow the career paths of our alumni. In addition, we remain in good contact with many former students, partly because they are continuing their academic careers as employees in the department of Social Work or as external lecturers here at MCI.

We look forward to the coming years with joy and confidence, knowing that we will continue to create the basis for a successful career path for our students with our study programs.


Prof. Dr. habil. Belachew Gebrewold | Head of Department & Studies Bachelor's program Social Work
Prof. Dr. habil. Belachew Gebrewold Head of Department & Studies +43 512 2070 - 3400