List of distance learning institutions in South Africa (2023)


by Staff Reporter

by Staff Reporter

Studying for a degree or diploma remotely is becoming a far more preferable option for students in South Africa and for a few good reasons!

With distance learning students are able to study even if they can’t move into a university physically, as well as allowing students that need to continue their full time or part time job to be able to do so while studying.

For those looking to study remotely in South Africa, we’ve put together a handy list of accredited distance learning institutions to help you figure out where and what you’d like to study.

For this list, we are specifically considering institutions that offer fully accredited degrees and diplomas via distance learning. There are a number of other organisations that provide diplomas and short courses like GetSmarter, City Varsity Online, HyperionDev, etc.

With the above in mind, here are a variety of institutions in South Africa where you can study remotely and obtain a degree or diploma!


The University of South Africa (UNISA) was established in 1873, and is Africa’s biggest open distance learning institution, offering internationally accredited qualifications. They offer a wide range of qualifications from undergraduate through to postgraduate in all of the fields of study that a traditional university would offer.

UNISA has three core business areas: teaching, research, and community engagement. Unisa’s research is led by the Research, Postgraduate Studies, Innovation and Commercialisation portfolio. The community outreach is led by the Unisa Community Engagement and Outreach Policy.

The university’s vision is “towards the African University shaping futures in the service of humanity”.

List of distance learning institutions in South Africa (1)



STADIO is the new kid on the block when it comes to distance learning institutions in South Africa. The institution started as a subsidiary of Curro Holdings Limited, but in 2017 STADIO Holdings was listed on the JSE. Their intention was to create a separately listed business with a focus on higher education.

STADIO Holdings has since acquired a number of higher education institutions, such as AFDA, Milpark Education, LISOF, Embury Institute for Higher Education, Prestige Academy and Southern Business School. Milpark Education and AFDA function independently, however, the other institutions have been consolidated to form the STADIO higher education institution.

STADIO offers qualifications in their faculties of Commerce, Administration & Management; Education; Arts & Design; Science and Technologies; and Law.

STADIO is hoping to empower South Africa by providing easier access to high-quality higher education.

List of distance learning institutions in South Africa (2)

College SA

College SA is a private distance education college that bridges the gap between those that want quality tertiary education but can either not afford to go to university, or do not meet the entry requirements. The institution has a number of courses that do not require a matric certificate, as they offer bridging courses for those that do not meet the minimum requirements.

College SA was founded in 2007 as Curro college but in 2008 became College SA after Curro School Partners sold their shares.

The institution’s mission is to provide affordable quality distance learning. They offer a wide range of courses ranging from accounting and bookkeeping to beauty therapy, project management, events management, tourism, and human resources.

List of distance learning institutions in South Africa (3)

Lyceum Correspondence College

Lyceum Correspondence College is a distance learning institution that was founded in 1917 and has a proud history of providing higher education in South Africa. Their courses are more affordable than in-person studies, which helps make their courses more accessible to the population.

Lyceum offers a personalised study journey, with support from a qualified academic to assist you through your degree, diploma, certificate or short course. They offer courses in humanities, commerce and education.

List of distance learning institutions in South Africa (4)

INTEC College

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One of INTEC’s mottos is “earn while you learn”. INTEC believes that it is all about the student, those studying at INTEC can study at their own pace, where and when it suits them. The institution offers a wide range of qualifications from engineering to dressmaking.

They have been providing tertiary education to South African students for over 100 years, and are committed to reputable, convenient, affordable and student-centric study options. They offer diplomas in Science & Technology, Humanities, Education and Commerce.

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Oxbridge Academy

Oxbridge Academy has been providing remote tertiary education for over 20 years. The institution provides the opportunity for students to study remotely if they are in South Africa, or overseas. Students are able to study part-time if they need to.

The Oxbridge Academy motto is “effortless excellence in education”. Practically this means that they aim to deliver high-quality education to students and they try to go the extra mile to help students succeed. Oxbridge offers a variety of courses from Advertising & Marketing to Events Management, HR, Beauty Therapy and Engineering.

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Damelin Correspondence College

Damelin Correspondence College’s mission is to provide high-calibre tertiary education that is credible, affordable and quality-assured. The institution prides itself on its reputation as excellent and prestigious.

The Damelin programmes aim to cover all aspects of academia. Their unique and innovative learning allows students to study flexibly, while still pursuing their personal and work objectives. Damelin offers courses and diplomas in Education, Commerce, Science & Technology, and Humanities.

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BMT College

BMT College is a fully accredited and industry-recognised online institution. Their culture is defined by social interaction and student success. They believe that interaction, active participation and connecting with lecturers, study content and fellow students are key to achieving academic success.

They have developed programmes that facilitate interaction while understanding that many students at BMT are studying part-time and have to work around busy schedules. At BMT you can study for a diploma and an advanced diploma in HR Management and Business Management.

They have developed a good reputation over the last 29+ years by deliberately focusing on students to ensure that they can always connect to the right person.

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List of distance learning institutions in South Africa (8)

Milpark Education

Milpark Education was established in 1997 and was one of the first private providers of higher management education in South Africa. Today, is now a subsidiary of STADIO holdings but continues to function independently, and offers distance and in-person tertiary learning.

The Institution has two teaching campuses, one in Cape Town and the other in Johannesburg. They also have a support office in Durban.

The flagship qualification at Milpark Education is the MBA. They are the only institution in Africa that has an AMBA accreditation for both content and online distance learning. Due to this qualification, Milpark’s MBA has joined the top 2% of global business schools in over 70 countries.

List of distance learning institutions in South Africa (9)

Boston City Campus & Business College

Boston City Campus was founded in 1991 and has been offering internationally accredited qualifications for the last 30 years. The institution is accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC) and is a candidate for accreditation for specific programmes with the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs in the United States.

Practically this opens up opportunities for students to expand upon their studies overseas more easily. Boston City Campus qualifications have been externally verified against international standards for higher education, which means that their qualifications support international employability standards. Boston offers a large variety of qualifications from degrees in accounting, law, and accounting to diplomas in management, systems development, event management and more

List of distance learning institutions in South Africa (10)

The Open Learning Group (OLG) is an accredited Private Higher Education Institution (PHEI), established in 1997. Their qualifications are delivered through a blended distance learning model and learnerships, skills programmes and short learning programmes are delivered through contact sessions.

Open Learning Group offers Further Education and Training (FET) learnerships, skills training and short learning programmes. They partner with companies who want to develop employees professionally through accredited programmes

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Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology

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Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology was founded in 1990 in Tongaat as a Computer Training Centre. It now has campuses in various parts of South Africa and offers distance learning.

Richfield is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training and is fully accredited by the Council of Higher Education. It is also the most affordable Higher Education Institution in South Africa.

The institution provides students with free access to high-tech devices and data networks. Since 2012 they have provided students with a free tablet PC, and from 2018 all new students at Richfield receive a free Vodacom Smart Tab in their first year. The Tab is preloaded with the relevant learning material and 500MB of data. They offer degrees and diplomas in Business, Finance, Education, Information Technology, Engineering and Hospitality.

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Finance your distance learning qualification

If you wantto study at a distance learning institution in South Africa, but are looking to finance your qualification, Fundi can help with a range of student loans and financing packages.

List of distance learning institutions in South Africa (13)

Staff Reporter

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Which universities in South Africa offers distance learning? ›

Private higher education institutions such as Lyceum College, Intec, Damelin, Milpark Education and Boston City Campus offer online courses.

What online courses are Recognised in South Africa? ›

  • Higher Certificate in Tourism Management. ...
  • Higher Certificate in Paralegal Studies. ...
  • Higher Certificate in Digital Marketing. ...
  • Higher Certificate in Events Management. ...
  • Higher Certificate in Social Media and Communication. ...
  • Higher Certificate in Public Sector Procurement. ...
  • Higher Certificate in Human Resource Management.

What is the best solution in distance learning? ›

Best Practices for Teaching Remote Learning

communicating expectations clearly. building community and promoting collaboration. encouraging active learning.

Where can I study teaching distance in South Africa? ›

Mancosa offers a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (Further Education and Training Teaching) through distance learning – making this programme flexible so you can study teaching part-time.

Which is the best university to do distance education? ›

Top 10 Online Distance Colleges in India
  • IGNOU Distance Learning.
  • Amity University Distance Education.
  • Symbiosis University.
  • Annamalai University.
  • Sikkim Manipal University.
  • School of Distance Learning, Delhi University.
  • Institute of Management & Technology (IMT)
  • Suresh Gyan Vihar University.
5 Jul 2022

Which South African universities are open for 2022 applications? ›

Universities Now Open For 2022 Applications
  • Walter Sisulu University. Walter Sisulu University (WSU) has opened their late applications and this period will then close towards the end of February. ...
  • University of Mpumalanga. ...
  • University of Fort Hare. ...
  • Tshwane University of Technology. ...
  • Central Applications Clearing House.


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