Programme South Africa

Honours and Masters Programmes in "Labour Policy and Globalisation”

The GLU programme in South Africa is hosted at the University of the Witwatersrand in the School of Social Sciences. Since its inception in 2007, it has offered exciting and innovative postgraduate degrees and short courses to trade unionists, labour activists and labour researchers who come from all over the world with a special emphasis on Africa. All programmes and courses run annually. GLU offers coursework Honours and Masters (MA) degree programmes in the field of Labour Policy and Globalisation and are available for full-time and part-time study. Since 2013, GLU has offered the very popular Engage short course – a certificate course for international trade unionists and activists – to provide University-level academic training to activists. In 2017, GLU created the Social Theory for South African Trade Unionists short course designed for South African based trade unionists and labour activists (this course came out of requests for such a course from trade unions in South Africa).

All courses are coordinated and taught by senior Wits University academics and experienced labour activists via interactive class-based teaching, seminars and research projects. Courses are designed to equip workers and organised labour with the tools to actively engage in internal trade union rebuilding and revitalisation and national and international socio-economic policy debate and formulation.

GLU is the only programme of its kind in Africa and is open to all unionists and labour activists regardless of their affiliations. It is run by a committee of Wits academics and administered by the Committee Chairperson, the Administrative Coordinator and the Programme Coordinator. GLU South Africa is partnered by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) South Africa Office, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Trade Union Competence Centre for Sub-Saharan Africa (TUCC) and the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland (SASK).

Entry Requirements

Masters Entry Requirements

  • BA Honours or reasonable grounds in terms of union and research experience to be RPL'd
  • 7 years plus union / Labour Support Organisation experience
  • research or policy experience in the union / Labour Support Organisation
  • union / Labour Support Organisation endorsement
  • CV
  • sample of written work
  • marks in previous studies should be at least 65% average
  • research proposal
  • formal, written commitment to return to unions/ Labour Support Organisation’s for at least 2 years after completion
  • admission to MA GLU is automatic for GLU Honours who achieved at least 65% average in GLU Honours

Honours Entry Requirements

  • Completed Online application
  • BA or undergraduate Degree
  • At least three years union/labour support organisation (LSO) experience
  • Official letter of support from the union/LSO
  • Personal Motivation Letter from applicant
  • Formal, written commitment to return to union/LSO for at least two years after completing GLU programme
  • Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Sample of written academic work 60% and above average for previous studies

All applications not suitable for the one year Masters Programme will be considered for the two year Honours and Masters Programme.

No applicant will be permitted to work full-time and study full-time. Those who cannot be released from their positions during their studies must register part-time, taking the degree in question over 2 years. This is a condition of registration, and non-negotiable.

Master Theses of GLU students studied in S.A.

Alex Mashilo

Changes in Work and Production, Organisation in the Automotive Industry Value Chain - An evaluation of the responses by labour in South Africa

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Ntwala Mwilima

The role of trade unions in job creation: a case study of the Job
Creation Trust

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