Global Labour University

Edward Webster Passes Away

We are deeply saddened by the news of Professor Edward Webster passing away. Prof. Webster has left an immense legacy, influencing and inspiring generations of scholars, activists and workers around the globe. 

He was a dear friend and an invaluable ally of GLU and the International Centre for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) since their inception. Namely, he was the first Ela Bhatt Visiting Professor of ICDD at Kassel University in Germany from 2009 to 2010. Webster was also the founder and Chair of the Global Labour University at Wits and founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Global Labour Journal.

We extend our sincere condolences to Professor Webster’s family and friends during this difficult time. May he rest in peace. 

Wits University has organised a memorial on March 16, 2024, at the Great Hall of the University (Braamfontein Campus East). The memorial was held from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm, and was livestreamed for those looking to join online. 

 As part of commemorations, our partners at Wits also compiled a book of tributes for Prof Eddie’s family.

A Pivotal Moment for the Network

In 2024, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Global Labour University. This pivotal moment for the whole network will be commemorated with a series of events, such as the GLU reception at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva (March 27), and the GLU Symposium at the ILPC conference in Göttingen (April 3-5). 

In Geneva, students of the “Labour Policies and Globalisation” MA programme have attended a 2-day workshop with ACTRAV at the ILO headquarters.
They learned about the ILO supervisory mechanism, trade unions in transformation, labour rights in the platform economy, migrant workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining and much more.

The 42 ILPC Conference session has highlighted the importance of the moment the GLU network is in. It offered a glimpse into current labour struggles, GLU´s role in it, as well as what the future may look like.  You can find the live stream link here

The central event will be held in Germany, on April 30th, at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) premises in Berlin. Germany is where the GLU started in 2004, and where 20 generations of LPG students have earned their degrees. The discussion will revolve around the topics where the GLU network has made a significant contribution, especially by reinforcing the voices from the Global South. We will also examine the GLU’s contribution to the labour movement over the years. 

The main event will be accompanied by the Online Academy´s multiple-day workshop for the Global Team of Trainers and Tutors (GTTTs),  from April 29 to May 2, focused on the capacity building. The Academy is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, further elevating the importance of 2024 for GLU. Finally, many members of the GLU network will attend the May 1st demonstration activities as a group. 

The annual GLU Conference is planned for later in the year – September 25-27, 2024. It is set to be hosted at the partner institution, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, India. This occasion will be a great opportunity to celebrate GLU internationally and deepen the discussion on topics at the core of what GLU foes and stands for. As part of the Conference, GLU has also issued a call for papers “Globalisation and Transition to an Egalitarian World: Resistance and Alternatives”.

Stay tuned for more information to come soon. 

Final application deadline is March 29

The Jawaharlal Nehru University and GLU are inviting applications from International Students for admission under the In-absentia category for Post Graduate programme for the Academic Year 2024-25. Interested Foreign National candidates may apply from their respective countries. There is a separate Application Form for them, which can be downloaded from the official website of the University.

The final application deadline is March 29, 2024.

The Master’s Programme in Development and Labour Studies is a full time two-year interdisciplinary course of 64 credits. The main objectives of the programme are to prepare students to get interdisciplinary training to do doctoral research on contemporary issues about labour and the informal sector. It provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the contemporary themes and issues on informality and labour drawing from the disciplines of history, economics, sociology and political science.

Application form direct link here

More info on the admission procedure here.



Call for Submissions Open

The submission window for the 2024 Elmar Altvater Prize is now open.

Applications are only accepted in electronic forms, to be sent before or at the very latest on March 31, 2024, to the following address:

The prize aims to encourage young scholars to continue the tradition of critical thought about the degradation and destruction of nature as the ‘price of progress’ that Professor Altvater represented so outstandingly. The prize is open to graduating thesis at the PhD level, with an award of 2,000€.

Applications are strongly encouraged from theses that adopt approaches that are inter-disciplinary, and that integrate economics with approaches from social and political sciences, and also from natural sciences, anthropology, geography, and history.

For any questions and further information write to

DAAD Prize Awarded to Yury Varlamov

GLU Mastar´s programme student Yury Varlamov has received the award of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for his outstanding academic achievements and the social commitment of international students. Prof. Dr. Anne Lisa Carstensen accepted the award in his stead, from Kassel University President Ute Clement. “Yury Varlamov is an excellent example of how excellent scientific work and sociopolitical commitment can go hand in hand,” argued Clement. 

Varlamov was involved in socio-political activities from a young age in Russia, with extensive experience in trade unions and in human rights. More recently, Varlamov was elected chairman of the youth committee of the Pan-European Regional Council (PERC) of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). In 2022, he left Russia in 2022 and enrolled in the master’s program in Labor Policies and Globalization, a joint degree program of the Global Labour University (GLU) and HWR Berlin.

The DAAD prize is awarded once a year to an international student or a doctoral candidate at the university. The award ceremony took place during the welcoming event for international students. 

Deadline for applications is closing soon

Candidates who wish to attend “Social Economy and Labour” master´s programme should make sure to submit their applications before the extended deadline of October 31, 2023. They can find more information about this Master’s programme, including application steps and form, on this page.

The Programme is taught at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.  The professors of the Institute of Economics and guest lecturers from other Brazilian universities and research institutes, as well as from the GLU partner universities. The students need to complete 36 course credits in 9 courses, and they will also be required to write a master’s thesis and complete a one-month internship (12 credits).

Call Open to Trade Unionists and Labour Activists Globally

The applications for the South Africa ENGAGE 2024 program “Union Rights, Policy and Practice: Training for Global Union Activists“ are officially open. The closing date is Friday, 20 December 2023. Courses are taught by experienced teaching staff from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and other guest lecturers.

ENGAGE helps labour activists and trade unionists to acquire additional knowledge and tools enabling them to take an active part in public debate and the process of policy formulation and implementation. The Certificate Course, made up of six modules, constitutes the core of the activities of ENGAGE. The participants will jointly develop strategies to enforce decent work conditions along cross-national chains of production and to regulate financial markets in a way that promotes fair globalisation and inclusive societies.

Participation of labour activists and trade unionists from Africa, Asia, South and North America and Europe makes the ENGAGE training programme a truly unique international experience that offers new opportunities for global networking.

The program is part of the Global Labour University (GLU) network that has successfully established academic study opportunities for labour activists from Africa, Asia, South and North America and Europe. It aims to strengthen the intellectual and strategic capacity of workers and their organisations and foster stronger working relationships among trade unions.

Please submit your completed application (including all documents) via email to Warren McGregor at:

For more information, please visit the website of our partners at:

Do not miss Virtual Open House in October

The event will take place online, on October 21, 2023 (Saturday), at 9 am EST/, 2 pm CET/, 3 pm SAST/, and 9 pm HKT. It will allow our partner faculty, alumni, and current students of the LGWR program to discuss the program, curriculum, degree requirements, the application process, and more!

The Center for Global Workers’ Rights and School of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State University offers a twelve-month Master of Professional Studies in Labor and Global Workers’ Rights (LGWR). The program is designed for U.S. and international labour activists interested in labour rights, social justice, and global solidarity. It focuses on global workers’ rights, work and gender, race and migration, social movements, and labour relations systems around the world.

Professors teaching in the program have rich experience in the global labour movement and labour-related research. Students will have opportunities to intern with unions and labour groups and to dialogue with labour scholars and activists through symposiums, speaker series, film series, and more. Graduate fellowships, including tuition waivers, are available.

This Master’s program is part of the Global Labor University, a network of universities in five countries (Brazil, India, Germany, South Africa, and the U.S.) along with global union federations, national unions, and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Applicants will be admitted on a rolling basis. The final deadline is January 31, 2024.

Visit this link or email to learn more. 


From  September 05-07, 2023, the GLU South Africa branch at Wits University will be hosting the annual GLU International Conference. The theme of the Conference will centre on the contested concept of the Just Transition. The event will include a range of presentations on this topic by GLU Alumni, GLU academics from the various GLU campuses and invited academics and guests representing workers’ and labour support organisations.

The theme, Just Transition, pivots around intertwined economic, ecological, social and political poly-crises facing the world today. As such, the event conceptualises the Just Transition in a broad manner, and asks how decent jobs and decent lives can be secured for all in the transition away from fossil fuels, in the context of persistent social inequality, poverty and unemployment (including worker, immigrant and community vulnerability)- in all parts of the globe, but most particularly in the Global South.

In other words, what is “Just” in the Just Transition, and how can we prevent corporate capital (in collusion with uncaring states) from stamping its imprint onto this transition, in the form of a green capitalism that renders such a transition “Unjust” for the working class and marginalised (particularly in countries of the Global South)?

The Thematic Conference will take place at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. This international convergence will culminate in a meeting of the GLU International Steering Committee at the end of that week.

Interested parties can also attend the thematic Global Labour University International Conference via  Zoom.

Call for Applications for Honours and MA Programme Open Until August 31

Call for Applications for our GLU South Africa Honours and MA programme for 2024 is still open. Students can send their applications until August 31, 2023.

The programmes are offered through the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. It is a full-time coursework and research study programme located in the School of Social Sciences. The goal is to equip and engage trade unionists more effectively to tackle the challenges of globalisation. 

Note that applications must be completed online. Incomplete applications and applications submitted after the closing date will not be reviewed.

For more information about the Programme and the application process, please contact:

Yurisha Pillay, the GLU Administrative Coordinator at or 

Warren McGregor, the GLU Programme Coordinator at

Further information is available here.  Read the call for applications here

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