Top Accredited Distance Learning Institutions in South Africa

by Staff Reporter

Studying for a degree or diploma via distance learning is becoming a far more preferable option for students in South Africa—and for good reason!

With distance learning, students are able to study even if they can’t physically attend university; distance learning also allows students to continue their full-time or part-time job while studying.

For those looking to study via distance learning 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, including, but not limited to, GetSmarter, STADIO and HyperionDev

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!

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distance learning in south africa


Established in 1873, the University of South Africa (UNISA) is Africa’s biggest open distance learning institution, offering internationally accredited qualifications. UNISA offers a wide range of qualifications—ranging from undergraduate to postgraduate—in all fields of study.

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”.


STADIO started as a subsidiary of Curro Holdings Limited, but in 2017, STADIO Holdings was listed on the JSE. STADIO’s 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, STADIO Higher Education, Prestige Academy and Southern Business School. With that said, 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 and Management; Education; Arts and Design; Science and Technologies; and Law.

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

IIE Rosebank College

IIE Rosebank College, a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) is a dedicated to supporting IIE Distance (Online) students. As an IIE Distance student, you will receive all your support online from a dedicated IIE Rosebank College tutor.  Wide range of IIE distance qualifications, including IIE Higher Certificates, IIE Diplomas, IIE Degrees, and IIE Postgraduate qualifications are available.

Along with IIE Rosebank College’s accredited qualifications, the college additionally offers:

  • Online Tutor Support: Accessible and responsive online tutors to guide you through your studies.
  • Campus Library Access: Full access to our well-equipped campus libraries across the country, providing valuable resources for your learning journey.

Accredited and Recognised

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) (Pty) Ltd is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education and training institution. The IIE qualifications are accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and are registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

The IIE is also internationally accredited, demonstrating that The IIE standards are world class and ensures that students can be confident about the value of their qualifications. The British Accreditation Council is an independent authority in the UK that accredits private providers in the UK and in other countries such as Greece, Switzerland, Singapore, India, Mauritius, and the United Arab Emirates.

Affordable, Accessible, and Quality Education

IIE Rosebank College is committed to supporting IIE Distance (online) prospective students with a range of options that prioritise affordability, accessibility, and quality education. The college strives to make higher education attainable for all, empowering its students to achieve their academic and professional goals.

College SA

College SA is a private distance education college that bridges the gap between those that want quality tertiary education but who can either not afford to do so or 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. College SA offers a wide range of courses ranging from accounting and bookkeeping to beauty therapy, project management, events management, tourism and human resources.


INTEC College

One of INTEC’s mottos is “earn while you learn”. INTEC believes that it is all about the student, which is why those studying at INTEC are able to 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 and Technology, Humanities, Education and Commerce.

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”. This means that Oxbridge Acadent aims to deliver high-quality education to students and goes the extra mile to help them succeed. In terms of their offerings, Oxbridge offers a variety of courses from Advertising and Marketing to Events Management, HR, Beauty Therapy and Engineering.

BMT College

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

BMT College has 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. 

BMT College has 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.

Milpark Education

Milpark Education was established in 1997 and was one of the first private providers of higher management education in South Africa. Today, Milpark Education is 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. Milpark Education also has a support office in Durban. 

The flagship qualification at Milpark Education is the MBA and it is 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.


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.

Open Learning Group

Established in 1997, the Open Learning Group (OLG) is an accredited Private Higher Education Institution (PHEI) in South Africa with qualifications delivered through a blended distance learning model and learnerships, skills programmes and short learning programmes through contact sessions. 

Open Learning Group offers Further Education and Training (FET) learnerships, skills training and short learning programmes. The private higher education institution partners with companies that want to develop employees professionally through accredited programmes.

Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology

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, Richfield has provided students with a free tablet, desktop computer and a free Vodacom Smart Tab in their first year. The tablet is preloaded with the relevant learning material and 500MB of data. Richfield also offers degrees and diplomas in Business, Finance, Education, Information Technology, Engineering and Hospitality.

Fund Your Distance Learning Studies with Fundi

If you want to study at a distance learning institution in South Africa, but are looking to finance your qualification, Fundi can help! 

Fundi study loans cover everything from tuition fees, accommodation, devices and more! Eager to see if you qualify? Try out the Fundi Loan Calculator.

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