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Study for a BA degree by mobile phone

Cyber University claims to have almost 2,000 satisfied students for its virtual lectures.

Remember Cyber University, that online-only edifice of education that we told you about earlier this year? At the time we noted that the college is largely funded by a mobile-phone company, so it comes as no surprise to hear that its latest wheeze involves delivering courses by phone.

The Softbank-owned college based in Fukuoka, Japan, has apparently been so successful in signing up students (1,850 to date) it has started a new course that students can attend simply by flipping open their phones.

Ancient meets modern

The series of lectures on ancient Egypt counts towards a four-year degree in world heritage and can be watched either on a traditional PC or a handset. The computer version includes audio, video and text, whereas the mobile one is just audio accompanied by a slideshow.

Although there's no way for students to interact with lecturers, there are active online forums and social-networking communities that appear to be fulfilling demand. So far, the university claims, 'attendance' is at 86 per cent, which suggests a satisfied student body.

Anyone thinking phone-based education sounds like a hollow gimmick may have a point - it works only on mobiles from, you guessed it, Softbank. Cyber Uni says it may expand the offerings to other networks, however.