African higher education has hit hard times. Research capabilities have dwindled in many countries, and the sharpest students have left for universities abroad.
But the thirst for higher learning hasn't left, as the quick success of a program called African Virtual University (AVU) shows. Using satellite links, computers, and online libraries, the program serves hundreds of students in sub-Saharan Africa.
Twenty-eight universities receive the satellite signals and provide classroom space. The courses are mainly computer science and business. Instruction is in English or French. Instructors may be in Europe or the US. By October, AVU plans to be offering full degree programs. Kudos to the World Bank for helping to launch the project. The enthusiasm of Africans determined to broaden their horizons should keep it growing.