African Virtual University

The Case of Kenyatta University, Kenya

image of African Virtual University
The virtual university takes the existing models of an Open University and extension learning one stage further by providing links that enable learners to take courses from overseas institutions as well as from the local university. This case study relates to the pilot phase of the African Virtual University at Kenyatta University in Kenya. It provides one of the few available insights into the reality of how the AVU has progressed in terms of concept, strategy and practice. It describes and analyses key issues regarding courses offered, operational economics, practical difficulties and the growing institutionalisation of the AVU as an integral part of higher education in Kenya.

The Commonwealth’s educational work promotes the exchange of experiences and good practice in the field of education. Commonwealth Case Studies in Education is a series of key papers focusing on innovations and challenges in education. Each case study presents a concise analysis of a topical and pertinent educational issue. The series marks an important contribution to educational advancement of benefit to countries, agencies and organisations, within the Commonwealth and beyond.



Background to the African Virtual University (AVU)

The essential problem confronted by university managers, academic staff, Government policy makers, graduate employers, students and their families is that the quality of university education in Africa has declined significantly. This is true regardless of how quality is defined: student performance on standardised test; academic staff credentials; student exposure to current knowledge and information; relevance of learning to labour market requirements, and academic capacities for development in Africa - on the whole, all have been declining. A significant opportunity is created by AVU to catalyse constructive action in this arena.


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