Education: Africa Calling

Smartly dressed in bright blue blazers, 23 Nigerians stepped off a Greek ship in Montreal last week and headed toward 19 top U.S. colleges, from Yale to Vassar, with full four-year scholarships. Their scholarships were fully earned: the culling they went through made the U.S. race for college look like a free-lunch counter.

The Nigerians were chosen from 2,000 of the brightest youths in Britain's biggest African colony (pop. 35 million), which is to become fully independent in October. First the number was reduced to 375 with schooling qualifying them for Cambridge and Oxford. They were given probing exams. The 83 with...

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