Distance learning September 12, 2022

Best Distance Learning Universities in the World

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Best Distance Learning Universities in the World

When it comes to distance learning, it’s an active and technological method of education. Distance learning universities offer an alternative academic learning environment and distance learning programs and courses for people interested in schooling but face difficulties in attending a physical school, college, or university.

Additionally, distance education is done online with less stress and more benefits for students with other responsibilities. Consequently, many people are now paying attention to getting a degree through distance learning programs, especially those who manage their businesses, families, or work to support themselves.

We will elaborate on the best distance learning universities in the world offering programs. But before that, let’s dig into the meaning of distance learning.

What is Distance Learning?

Distance learning is also called e-learning, online learning, or distance education. It usually refers to an education system without physical appearance; every learning material and resource is accessed online.

distance learning

Alternatively, it’s an educational system where educators and learners meet in a virtual classroom space; aided by technology.

Significance of Distance Learning

Distance learning offers numerous benefits, including:

Significance of distance learning
  • Learners can access study material at any time.
  • They can attend classes remotely, allowing them to join from anywhere and in the comfort of their homes.
  • It saves students time and money, allowing them to effectively manage their time with family, work, and education.
  • Distance learning gives students the privilege of choosing a convenient learning time and promotes an individual’s self-discipline.
  • Online learning is without geographical limitations, and technology has made it available for everyone. So, learners can access top universities worldwide and acquire any professional degree, helping them overcome barriers to education.

Why Choose an Online University?

There’s a question that most stakeholders want to answer. Why does the online education format is appealing to students?

The answer is simple; it helps degree-seeking students balance classes with work and other responsibilities. In addition, it enables them to schedule school around their working hours

The best distance learning universities in the world also offer an accessible and affordable path to a professional degree. Learners can compare top country programs when choosing a distance learning course. Rather than restricting their options to local schools or relocating, they can enroll in top distance learning universities to acquire knowledge in other states or countries. 

Hence, many distance learning programs meet high academic standards where students don’t need to sacrifice quality for convenience. Moreover, accredited online universities meet these quality standards the same way as in-person courses.

How to Choose a University for Online Education?

Choosing an online university will shape your future for the good. So, how can you opt for a distance learning program that fits your schedule, budget, and goals? Unfortunately, most prospective students only look at costs and overlook other factors affecting their experience and career options. 

Experts believe that you should consider your goals first when looking at different options. First, take time to identify your needs and why you want to pursue an online degree, and then recognize the kind of support you might need to succeed. Next, seek support services and resources that are significant to you, for example, tutoring, internships, career counseling, health classes, wellness classes, and social clubs. Also, research well to see which institutes offer the best distance learning courses in the world to go further.

Research all these factors to find the best fit for you.

Evaluate the Degree’s Cost

Cost is among the most critical factors for many learners when choosing a university. Expenses can vary widely depending on whether the university/college is public or private, profit or non-profit. It also varies based on the program and delivery format. But for many students, an online design saves time and money.

Evaluate the Degree's Cost

Nonetheless, looking at the tuition fee only can be misleading. Apart from the tuition rate, learners need a budget for technology, books, and other resources. Moreover, be mindful that financial aid can lower these costs, and many students pay less than the program’s advertised sticker price. So, weigh the program cost and financial aid opportunities when deciding which institution to choose.

Choose an Accredited School

Online learners should always choose a properly accredited school. However, first, we need to understand what accreditation is.

Accredited schools/colleges/universities meet high academic standards to educate learners. They receive the accreditation after rigorous review from an independent accrediting agency. Such agencies provide certification following an evaluation of the school’s academic mission, faculty qualifications, teaching materials, and student learning outcomes.

Choose an Accredited School

Accreditation matters as such schools provide high-quality education that meets the needs of professional licenses and certifications. In the working world, most employers hire graduates from accredited institutions.

Pick Your College Major

Some learners enter college with a clear idea of the major in their heads, while others take time to explore available disciplines.

If you find it challenging to choose a major, then think of typical earning potentials for different majors, your strengths, and your career options. Next, take general education courses to narrow down your choices. At last, consider the program requirements and transferable skills each significant offers. Finally, have a look at the job market of different majors. Once you have done your research and have engaged in self-reflection, find a subject that interests you and fits your requirements.

Determine an Online Format

Next, you must determine an online learning format that suits your academic requirements. Different distance learning programs have several delivery options. While many programs use a fully online form, others offer a hybrid model with some in-person classes

Determine an Online Format

Learners can take classes synchronously or asynchronously. Synchronous classes offer live class sessions that encourage real-time interaction, whereas the asynchronous format doesn’t have a set meeting time. Consider which structure best suits your schedule

Top 10 Distance Learning Universities in the World

Here’s a list of the best distance learning universities in the world and why you should choose them.

Top 10 Distance Learning Universities in the World

1. University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is a social research institute. It is set up in Manchester, United Kingdom. The institute was founded in 2008 with over forty-seven thousand students and faculty members. It is one of the best distance learning university in the world.

the university of Manchester logo
Credits: manchester.ac.uk

Currently, 38,000 local and international students are enrolled with 9,000 staff. In addition, the university is a Russell Group member, a community of 24 selected public research institutions.

Moreover, the University of Manchester is known for its excellence in research and academics. It offers many online distance learning degree programs with certifications recognized in the job market.

Online Courses Offered by the University of Manchester

Following are the distance learning courses offered at the University of Manchester:

  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Humanities
  • Architecture
  • Social Science
  • Art and Design
  • Computer science
  • Medicine and Health
  • Business Managemen
  • Natural and applied science
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Education, hospitality, and Sport

2. The University of Florida

university of Florida logo
Credits: ufl.edu

The University of Florida is located in Gainesville, Florida. It is an open research university established in 1853 with 34,000 students. Also, UF provides many distance learning programs. 

Additionally, they have over 200 online degree courses and certificates, offering educational services to those seeking an alternative to traditional forms of education. Finally, their distance learning degrees are recognized and considered the same as those attending in-person classes.

Online Courses Offered by the University of Florida

The courses they are offering encompass:

  • Journalism
  • Liberal Arts
  • Communications
  • Agricultural Science
  • Medicine and Health
  • Business Administration
  • Science and so much more.

3. University College of London

University College of London was the first established university in London, England, in 1826. It is a top-ranked public research institution and a part of Russell Group, with almost 40,000 learners enrolled.

University College of London logo
Credits: ucl.ac.uk

The university is reputedly known for its research and academic excellence. It attracts a lot of learners from all over the world. UCL provides Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Online Courses Offered by the University College of London

The distance learning courses at the university are:

  • Social sciences
  • Business management
  • Humanities development
  • Computing and Information systems
  • Education and so on.

4. University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool logo
Credits: liverpool..ac.uk

The University of Liverpool is one of the leading institutions in research and education. It was established in 1881 and is located in England. UL is also a part of the Russell Group.

The University of Liverpool has over 30,000 students from 189 countries. It provides learners an affordable and convenient way to learn and accomplish their goals & career aspirations.

Their online learning programs cater to distance learning needs where students can access teachers and quizzes via a platform. This gives students all the resources and support they need to commence and complete their studies online.

When you complete your degree and graduate, the University of Liverpool invites you to its beautiful campus in northwest England.

Online Courses Offered by the University of Liverpool

The classes they are offering are as follows:

  • Psychology
  • Health care
  • Public health
  • Cyber security
  • Digital Marketing
  • Computer science
  • Business management
  • Data Science and Artificial intelligence

5. Boston University

Boston University is a private research institution in Boston, USA. It has two campuses and was founded in 1839 in Newbury by the Methodists.

Boston University logo
Credits: bu.edu

The university was moved to Boston in 1867. It now has over 10,000 faculties & staff with 35,000 students from different countries.

In addition, it has been offering different distance learning programs to enable students to pursue and achieve their academic goals and win a degree from Boston University. They have extended their impact beyond campus by giving access to world-class faculty online and supportive staff, motivating students to perform excellently.

Distance Learning Courses Offered by Boston University

Their distance learning program offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. They are as follows:

  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Humanities
  • Architecture
  • Social science
  • Art and Design
  • Computer science
  • Medicine and Health
  • Business management
  • Engineering & technology
  • Natural and Applied science
  • Education, hospitality, and sport

6. Columbia University

Columbia university logo
Credits: columbia.edu

Columbia University is also a private research school founded in 1745 in New York City. It has over 6,000 students.

Through virtual learning programs, they aim to provide people with professional development and higher education opportunities. Students can enroll in various courses, including environmental stability, health technologies, leadership, technical, social works, and professional development.

Distance Education Courses Offered by Columbia University

Some of the elaborate courses offered are:

  • Bioethics
  • Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Business studies
  • Applied analytics
  • Computer science
  • Narrative medicine
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Operations research
  • Applied mathematics
  • Technology management
  • Insurance and wealth management

7. The University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria is among Africa’s top universities. It’s known for its socially impactful research to solve the world’s most pressing issues. Moreover, they have been offering distance learning program degrees since 2002.

The University of Pretoria logo
Credits: up.ac.za

The University of Pretoria is unique as it allows prospective students to register at any time of the year because its online courses run for six months.

Online Courses Offered by the University of Pretoria

You will find the following distance learning courses in Pretoria:

  • Law
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Culinary science
  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Management Education
  • Engineering and Engineering Technology

8. The University of Southern Queensland

The University of Southern Queensland logo
Credits: unisq.edu.au

It’s one of the most prestigious distance learning universities in Toowoomba, Australia. USQ is renowned for its supportive environment and commitment to excellence.

Distance learners can choose from over 100 online degrees to make their studies a reality—likewise, the university targets demonstrating leadership qualities and innovation in students’ experiences. You will receive the same quality and support as the on-campus student. However, distance learning students have the advantage of scheduling their study time.

Online Courses Offered by the University of Southern Queensland

The virtual education courses at the university are:

  • Business
  • Commerce
  • Humanities
  • Climate science
  • Law and Justices
  • Agricultural science
  • Applied data science
  • Creative arts education
  • Health and Community
  • Engineering and science
  • Communication and Information Technology
  • English Language programs and so on.

9. Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology was established in 1885 in Atlanta, USA. The institute is committed to service, and research and provides focused, technological-based education to numerous students worldwide.

Georgia Institute of Technology logo
Credits: gatech.edu

Online Courses Offered by the Georgia Institute of Technology

Distance learning courses at Georgia Tech are:

  • Education
  • Mathematics
  • Natural sciences
  • Computer science
  • Medicine and Health
  • Business management
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Environmental and Earth sciences

10. Charles Sturt University

Charles Sturt University logo
Credits: csu.edu.au

Charles Sturt University is an Australian multi-campus public university in New South Wales. They have over 43,000 students enrolled in different programs.

Students can access lectures and teachings at their preferred time. It also provides free access to software downloads, courses, and digital libraries to its distance learners.

Online Learning Courses Offered by Charles Sturt University

Their distance education courses include:

  • Education
  • Applied science
  • Computer science
  • Medicine and Health
  • Business management
  • Engineering and so on.

FAQs About Online Degree Programs

There are a lot of questions that distance learners will have on their minds while opting for an online degree. Here are the most frequently asked questions!

Are distance learning degrees considered valid by employers?

Today, as education has transitioned to online platforms, many employers prefer and hire college graduates who earned their degrees online. A distance learning degree from an accredited college or university matches the same high standards as an on-campus degree. At most institutions, distance learners and on-campus students get identical diplomas.

Also, online programs usually use the same instructional resources and staff members as an in-person program at the same college. Likewise, online students meet the exact graduation requirements as on-campus learners. Consequently, many employers hire online graduates for various entry-level positions.

Do I need any technical or soft skills to join the distance learning program?

There are only specific minimum requirements of the software and hardware components of the device for you to access the learning material and online classes. We recommend you always check the course syllabus for soft skill requirements. Usually, these requirements are only how to handle your device, set up the learning environment, and access your syllabus.

Is an online degree worthwhile like traditional ones?

The delivery method is the only difference between an online course and a traditional degree. Universities and colleges set high academic standards for all degree-granting programs, including distance learning courses.

Whether learners enroll online or in person, undergraduates must complete general education prerequisites, major courses, and electives to earn their bachelor’s degree. Accrediting bodies at colleges and universities review faculty qualifications and course materials to ensure quality online and in-person classes. So, an online degree is as worthwhile as a traditional course but has the advantage of a more flexible delivery format.

What devices do I need for distance learning?

Depending on the degree program requirements, you would need a smartphone, notebook, or computer.

How can I manage my time studying remotely?

You need to plan your course very carefully to succeed. Check your courses daily to keep yourself on track and complete the assignments and quizzes. Here are some more valuable tips to help you manage your time effectively during an online course.


A shift to remote learning during the pandemic has made online education more common. Today many universities offer online degrees, and students must choose a program and an institution that suits their educational and career needs.

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