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‘Public Universities with a Public Conscience’

17 June 2020
12:30 - 14:00

Date: 17 June 2020  

Time: 12:30 – 14:00

Livestream via Zoom

The Department of High Education and Training’s call for online learning during the COVID pandemic has resulted in resistance and an alternative proposal by a group of academics from various South African universities. The collective believes that the current unilateral implementation of online teaching and learning by higher education institutions will result in an academic disaster, as “going online” will widen existing inequalities. The group proposes Social Pedagogy that is sensitive to the contexts of students, teachers and their communities, striving for meaningful learning, consultation, inclusivity and a more equitable future beyond the current crisis. The initiative is guided by four principles:
Inclusivity and Participation, (2) Equity and Equality, (3) Transformation and Decolonisation,
and (4) Academic Development and Progress with Integrity.
In this Youth Day seminar the group share their proposed model for structuring the academic year in three phases, with timelines that take into account realistic capacity and provision of resources, as well as the unfolding of the pandemic and associated social restrictions. This important contemporary social and educational justice issue will be discussed in conversation with Mocke van Veuren and Dr Fikile Vilakazi of the “public universities with a public conscience” group.


Chair:     Dr Adam Cooper, Inclusive Economic Development, Human Sciences Research Council
Speakers:     Mocke van Veuren, University of the Witwatersrand and Dr Fikile Vilakazi, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Discussant:  To be announced

Dr Fikile Vilakazi is a lecturer in Public Policy and Political Science at the University of KwaZulu Natal. She is a member of the Post School Education Alliance and the rotational convener of the national Gender and Feminist working Group: COVID19 People’s Coalition

Mocke J van Veuren is an independent artist, experimental filmmaker, researcher and educator based in Johannesburg. Over the last decade he has developed a variety of collaborative film and performative projects, experimenting with media technologies while engaging in critiques on issues of urban life, racial politics, gender and sexuality. His educational work focuses on liberatory pedagogic approaches to the teaching of a range of filmmaking practices and media technologies, and he currently holds the position of Lecturer at the Wits Film & TV department.

Kindly RSVP by 16 June 2020

For further information contact: Arlene Grossberg | 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.

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