Labour Policies and Globalisation
The didactic concept of the modules within the course Labour Policies and Globalisation is research oriented learning. This objective strives towards promoting an innovative curriculum by offering modules that focus on student participation. New knowledge for the subjects will be jointly developed by both academic teaching staff and students. Emphasis is placed on investigating new types of research, new modes of studying, and broadening the interaction between academic fields and trade union practices. Wherever possible, an interdisciplinary approach will be developed that strives to integrate the different cultural backgrounds of the students.
Due to the fact that all of the students have already obtained a first academic degree, and also due to the fact that they have elaborate knowledge and experience with trade union work or with work in comparable organisations, there is lesser need to introduce them to academic structures. This prior experience challenges the traditional positions of learner and instructor.
The programme helps strengthen the capacity and competence to promote universal respect for basic human rights, workers' rights, social justice and protection, and for the representation of weak and disadvantaged members of society. It therefore pursues the following learning and teaching objectives:
Basics for the understanding of global economic, political, and social changes open up new opportunities and new challenges for trade unions: new approaches to sustainable development, strategies to combat poverty and discrimination, and to extend social protection; reforms of policies, laws, and institutions, improvements in employment access, working conditions, labour relations, and human resource development (including capabilities for learning and organisation-building);
Competences to identify social problems in society and to develop appropriate solutions, to incorporate social analyses and participation into the design and implementation of development projects, to do quick and robust research, to collect and generate relevant data, to use empirical tools including indicators used to assess impacts, to monitor performances, and to evaluate the effects of problem solutions and projects;
Abilities to transfer knowledge, to identify and disseminate good practices as well as lessons learned from failures, to mobilise and organise workers in the formal and the informal economy in order to advance their own interests, to build up networks with a wide range of actors and groups from trade unions and civil society, to build up pools of expertise, to contribute to successful forms of social dialogue, to ensure that all segments of society can make their voices heard, to improve and strengthen the work of trade unions especially in international and trans-cultural contexts.
In achieving these objectives both universities place special emphasis on:
- considering gender equality in opportunities and rights;
- a multidisciplinary approach;
- internships in particular with trade union organisations at the company, local, national or international level;
- the integration of the team approach and research workshops with individual advice.
To achieve these objectives, the following teaching methods will be employed:
- Lectures with seminars: the lectures will provide an overview of the subject, the seminars will be used to engage students in discussions.
- Independent studies and a Thesis Workshop: successful class participation and the writing of research papers require substantial reading. A Thesis Workshop will help the students in the planning and organisation of their theses: the research proposal; writing the introduction; reviewing the literature; writing about research methods and presenting the findings; and writing conclusions and abstracts.
- Participatory teaching: students are asked to participate actively in class by joining discussions, presenting papers, and engaging in role plays.
- Team work: in order to facilitate the students' ability for team work, students will frequently be asked to prepare presentations and to pursue their research in small groups.
- Individual tutoring: in writing their research papers students will be advised by professors and will have the support of tutors. One of the aims here is to provide diagnostic help and advice in English and study skills to improve students' awareness of their strengths and weaknesses and help develop independent learning skills is one of the aims here.
- Case studies: students will learn from practical experience where and how to apply their knowledge and practical experience.
- One World Seminar: a partly self-organised seminar by the students in which they are encouraged to actively involve themselves with their different trade union backgrounds, disciplinary and professional fields. In small groups the studetns develop their own set of components that may broaden the official curriculum.
- Academic Standards: these are auxiliary classes, taught by focussing on student centred learning that covers: summary writing; synthesising sources; preparing an comparative and contrasting essay; report writing; preparing a discursive essay; writing minutes.
For a Master degree students have to acquire the following academic skills:
- Demonstration of knowledge and understanding that is grounded upon and extends and/or enhances beyond that typically associated with a Bachelor's level, and that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in developing and/or applying ideas, often within a research context;
- Application of their knowledge and understanding, and problem solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study;
- Ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and formulate judgements with incomplete or limited information, but that includes reflection on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgements;
- Communication of their conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning of these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously;
- Learning skills to allow them to continue to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous.