South Africa must move on from physical universities

by IT News Africa

Where is our Coursera, our Udacity, our Khan Academy? These virtual universities teach millions of people science, engineering, accounting, finance and more. Online universities give people a chance to get advanced qualifications – people that in the past would have never have had the opportunity to study further. All you need is access to a computer and the Internet In South Africa, this is a huge barrier to entry. We have a very high Internet penetration rate… but only 20% of South Africans own a computer with an Internet connection (SA Network Society/ Research ICT Africa 2012). You can’t study advanced topics using just a mobile phone. But still. One in five South Africans is ten million people, and government’s ambitious SA Connect policy should see this number jump quickly. Why are we still stuck in the past when it comes to higher learning, with parents needing to scrape the money together to send their kids far away to sit in a lecture theatre?

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