By Majella Mark
- There are approximately 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the U.S.
- By 2050, approximately 2.4 billion people will be living in Africa and half of them will earn a higher education by 2063
Covid-19 proved online learning is possible and distance learning on a global scale is desired. Currently, only 8% of the sub-Saharan African population is enrolled in a higher education program, but the increased investment in online education makes it more affordable for many across the continent. Higher education is in demand and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) definitely have the supply with approximately 101 institutions in the U.S. These schools provide an education to nearly 250,000 students and could have a big impact in Africa, while increasing their revenue stream.
Why This Matters: By 2050, approximately 2.4 billion people will be living in Africa, with an expectation that 50% of the population will be earning a higher education by 2063. Many universities in the U.S., Europe and Africa are already offering online degree programs for Africans. The pioneer, Africa Virtual University, was created by the World Bank in collaboration with 19 African governments connecting organizations and students through Massive Open Online Courses.
The African Leadership University that runs the ALX education platform raised a Series B round of $30 million in 2018, after the opening of their center in Nairobi, Kenya. Their ambitious goal of teaching three million students by 2030 through their Leadership Development Centers is being made possible through financial investment. This is a model that can be followed by the smaller HBCUs that need alternative streams of income.
Situational Awareness: Several HBCUs have online degree programs including, Howard University, Hampton University, Lincoln University, Tuskegee Institute and the University of the Virgin Islands, that can easily provide access to the many Africans yearning for higher education. The institutions that would highly benefit from this international market are the private, lesser known HBCUs. Private schools like Rust, Lane and Tougaloo College can utilize organizations like Vittana to gain enrollment in their online programs with the comfort of knowing it will be financially manageable for the people of Africa.
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