Online Classrooms Look to Improve Higher Education Across Africa, but Face Skepticism

Everywhere is a classroom for Emily Kamizi, even the buses in Lusaka, Zambia’s congested capital. It can take an hour or more to cross the city, so Ms. Kamizi puts on her headphones, turns up Taylor Swift and concentrates on her M.B.A. studies.

Ms. Kamizi, 25, is a student at Unicaf University, an African institution founded in 2012 with programs in fields like business, education and health care management. Offering degrees largely online, with some blended learning options, Unicaf reaches 18,000 students across the continent, many of them working adults.

Unicaf offers the convenience of anytime, anywhere study — as long as the internet service is sufficient. The cost of a degree, about $4,000, is not cheap by African standards, but it is within reach of the region’s growing middle class, and many students receive scholarships. Ms. Kamizi, a former safety worker in a mine, got a full ride after she won a Unicaf-sponsored business competition with an idea for manufacturing low-cost sanitary napkins. Continue reading…


CreditCreditJason J Mulikita for The New York Times
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