News & events


Coronavirus – Lessons in remote learning from China and Europe

07 April 2020
10:30 - 12:30

Date: 7 April 2020    

Time: 10h30  – 12:30 (SAST)     


The link to the video is available below:


Prof Sharlene Swartz – Divisional Executive, Inclusive Economic Development, HSRC
Mr Joshua Kobb -Vice Dean of Zhejiang International Business School (Hangzhou, China)
Arch Paolo Motta – Member of European Institute of Political, Economic and Social Studies – BRICS Centre (Malaga, Italy)
Prof Peter Herrmann – Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center. Law School of Central South University (Changsha, China/Berlin, Germany)
Prof Ilaria Pitti – Senior Assistant Professor – University of Bolgna (Bologna, Italy)
Mr Krish Chetty – Chief Researcher, Inclusive Economic Development, HSRC

As South Africa starts to come to terms with the Coronavirus spreading within the country, our colleagues in China and Europe have greater experience in responding to the challenges of the virus. Across China and Europe, classes are shifting online and the countries are introducing innovative approaches to practice social distancing while maintaining productivity in their respective countries. Zhejiang University, which implements a “Smart Campus” in promoting teacher training in online delivery and digital learning was able to introduce 5000 courses in just 2 weeks after the state introduced a shutdown of campuses.

Is the quality of online teaching comparable to classroom teaching? Does the virus expose the challenges of the digital divide? This webinar offers an opportunity to hear first-hand from scholars managing these efforts in China. We also contrast the Chinese experience to those of sociologists in Italy and Germany, where the virus has forced governments to introduce unprecedented restrictions on movement in a bid to ‘flatten the curve’. Sharing knowledge and experiences will help South Africa respond to the virus and introduce appropriate measures to limit the spread of the virus. Will it be possible to replicate some of these solutions in South Africa’s uniquely unequal context?

Kindly RSVP by 6 April 2020 via:

Further information  Contact: Arlene Grossberg  E:
                        Krish Chetty            E: 

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DSI. Please also note that this seminar may be recorded and published on the HSRC podcast channel.