Cornell University

International Programs

117 Ives Hall, 607-254-7255


November 13 2007

ILR and University of Witwatersrand collaborate

Sarosh KuruvillaILR Professor of Comparative Industrial Relations and Asian Studies, Sarosh Kuruvilla, recently visited University of Witwatersrand’s Sociology of Work Unit (SWOP), in Johannesburg. SWOP is the leading institution in South Africa teaching and conducting research on the world of work and is well connected to organized labor, corporations, governments and other research institutes. 

Professor Kuruvilla’s long standing tie with Professor Eddie Webster, Director of SWOP, took him to South Africa. Professor Webster is one of South Africa’s most eminent Sociologists and current Council Member of the Human Science Research Council. In the past they have collaborated on numerous international projects and publications. 

Sarosh Kuruvilla was invited to be on the board of SWOP, which has recently become an independent institute within the university.  As a distinguished speaker at SWOP’s Breakfast Seminar Series, he also presented his research on the labor market implications of outsourcing skilled jobs from the US to India, apart from giving several lectures in the Sociology Department’s classes.University of Witwatersrand logo

He believes that SWOP is “unquestionably the best” institute for the study of Labor and Industrial Relations in Africa and a suitable partner institution for ILR.  He further clarified:

"Given globalization, it is imperative to educate our students about labor and industrial relations in all parts of the world. Africa has been relatively neglected in mainstream US based industrial relations scholarship, and ILR does not offer a single course on African labor relations.  We aim to widen ILR’s interest and create partnerships with creditable organizations in the world to give students a more comprehensive global education.”

Discussions are currently underway to identify and design potential educational exchanges between SWOP and ILR students and professors. Some ideas being considered include site research visits, lectures via video conference, non-credit work opportunities at labor institutes in South Africa and more. 

This new collaboration marks the beginning of exciting opportunities for ILR and SWOP. It also echo’s ILR’s commitment to endow its students with a globally focused education through ties with premier institutes around the globe.   

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