ENGAGE South Africa is an intensive six-module certificate short course offered annually to trade unionists and labour activists from around the world with a focus on those from the Global South. It is a popular two-month programme, with participants housed at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).
Engage has been offered by GLU Wits since 2013 and is supported by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s Trade Union Competence Centre for Sub-Saharan Africa (FES-TUCC) and the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland (SASK).
The Engage course, certified by Wits University, assists participants in acquiring additional knowledge and tools enabling them to take an active part in public debate and policy formulation and implementation. Our programme discusses and analyses the cause of the decades-long decline in the working-class wage share, increasing wealth disparity and the informalisation of labour within the context of neoliberal globalisation. Through interactive collaboration in seminars taught by senior academics and veteran labour scholars, ENGAGE participants and course coordinators jointly assess and develop strategies to enforce decent work conditions along cross-border chains of production and to regulate financial markets. The module seminars cover the following themes: Global Governance, Global Wage Policy and Finance, Labour and Development, Society and Development and Organising in the Shadow of a Pandemic. The sixth module tasks participants to develop a research project using Mapping and the Power Resources Approach (Power Mapping).
The Engage Transfer Project aims at ensuring a transfer of learnt research and analysis skills from our Engage South Africa short course alumni to their worker organisations in their country of origin. This is done by coordinating Power Resource Mapping research workshops and projects with selected African trade unions that were represented by alumni of the course. These country-based workshops, held in selected African destinations, are developed and presented by the Engage South Africa Coordinator, who also works as the Transfer Coordinator. The results of this research are presented at the annual Engage Transfer Colloquium, held at the University.
The topics covered in the course include:
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.
ENGAGE is part of the Global Labour University (GLU) network that has successfully established academic study opportunities for labour activists from all over the world at sites in Africa, Asia, South and North America and Europe with the aims of strengthening the intellectual and strategic capacity of workers and their organisations and fostering stronger working relationships among trade unions. Courses are taught by experienced teaching staff from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and other guest lecturers.
Classes run from 09h30-17h00 each day as set by the Module Coordinators. Group-work projects may also be set by Module Coordinators outside class time.
Certification: Upon successful completion of the training programme, participants will receive a short-course certificate of competence.
Practical Research Project: A group research project will be undertaken during the last two weeks of the programme.
Visit this official website provided by Wits University to learn more about the ENGAGE course
Visit this link to explore other Honour's, Master's programme, and short courses in labour issues offered by Wits University
The application period runs from August to October each year.
We have moved to an ONLINE application process. We NO LONGER accept emailed or hardcopy mailed application packages. Please complete the ONLINE APPLICATION FORM which registers your application online.
To complete the application process, please upload the following documents (in English) to the portal (see below):
PLEASE NOTE we will not review incomplete applications.
Visit this link for step-by-step guidelines on how to apply for this course
The ENGAGE course receives support from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland (SASK). There are a limited number of scholarships for participants from Africa, Asia and South America. Not all who apply will be funded.
The scholarships cover the following:
Day-to-day living expenses are the responsibility of the participants. The flights to and from students’ home countries have to be paid for by the participants or an organisation on their behalf.
Estimated costs, which are subject to change, if the participant is NOT covered by the scholarship:
*Please note: These are estimated US dollar costs for the duration of the ENGAGE course as of June 2021. Dollar amounts are subject to currency fluctuations.
For more information please contact:
To know more about study experiences, please do no hesitate to contact our alumni: