We are very much looking forward to meeting you soon in Edinburgh. This will be ESWRA’s biggest ever conference of around 650 people. We have a great programme for you, with fantastic speakers, presentations and, of course, plenty time to mix and mingle.
At this point, we would like to bring three issues to your attention:
Possible industrial action at UK Universities:
As some of you will know, the university sector in the UK has recently been affected by industrial action concerning changes to academics' pension entitlements. We are hopeful, but we can’t be certain, that this situation will be resolved before the conference – we will keep you posted. However, we want to assure you that whatever happens the conference will go ahead and all venue facilities will be fully functioning. ECSWR is a European not a UK event – it’s the leading social work research gathering for our community. All of you have made the commitment to participate, and we are committed to making it happen. We do this on the understanding that ESWRA and the Conference Committee fundamentally support the democratic right of everyone to make lawful protest about what they believe in. ESWRA’s mission is to bring together scholars and practitioners to develop and exchange new knowledge that may support social work policy, practice and education, and that contributes to enhancing social justice, solidarity and human rights. This includes ensuring the livelihood and the future of our research community - we are all too aware that these are precarious times for our sector across Europe. Indeed, the theme of this year’s ECSWR is Social Work in Transition: Challenges for Social Work Research in a Changing Local and Global World. In your presentations and conversations at the conference, we encourage you to discuss these turbulent times for our sector – together, we can make a difference!
Site works close to the conference venue:
On a practical note, we need to alert you that there is site work going on in and around George Square. The conference venues are not in any way affected, but please do not try to bring a car into George Square, because it is closed to traffic while new pipes are being laid.
Important Venue Change
Finally, we need to let you know that the lecture theatre which we had booked for the large events (including the keynote speeches) is currently being occupied by 10 students; the occupation started at the time of the academics’ industrial action but now seems to be about more general issues. We have therefore had to change the venue to 50 George Square, lecture theatre G.03, with live streaming into Appleton Tower Lecture Theatre 5. (The choice to use this combination of spaces was based on wishing to minimise possible congestion at the end of sessions.) This means that when you register, you will be given a ticket EITHER for 50 George Square or for Appleton Tower, depending on when you arrive. This is disappointing, but sadly we cannot do anything about it. We would ask you please not to advertise this too broadly - no announcements of the change on social media for the time being! – we don’t want to draw attention to the fact that something big is going on elsewhere on the campus in case the occupiers decide to take advantage of this, and the conference is further impacted. 😊
Viv Cree, Elaine Sharland and Sofia Dedotsi