Distance Learning: Top Universities Offering Online Courses for International Students


Published: October 25, 2023, 12:04 PM

Distance Learning: Top Universities Offering Online Courses for International Students

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As the world grappled with the reality of the pandemic, most of the academic activities across the world moved to online platforms. Educational institutions utilized technological tools to provide classes and even hold exams. And with that, the concept of distance learning resurged in the limelight. Many renowned universities offered distance learning even before the pandemic. With time, it is becoming a popular and convenient way of attaining a higher degree. This article looks at some of the best international universities providing distance learning opportunities. 

What is Distance Learning? 

The concept of distance learning is nothing new. The earliest example of distance learning dates back to the 1840s. Back then, Sir Issac Pitman taught shorthand to his students via postal mail. However, today’s concept of distance learning largely differs from that of the 1800s. 

Distance learning today essentially mimics an actual classroom with teachers and students. Universities across the globe partner with platforms like Coursera, and edX to provide certification courses to aspiring students. Some universities offer these courses on their own platform. Recently, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are also made available through distance learning opportunities. 

8 Best Universities in the World with Distance Learning Opportunities 

This list includes universities offering certificate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It‍‍`s important to note that distance learning bachelor’s programs are less common than master’s or certificate courses. 

University College London 

University College London or UCL was founded in 1826. It was established after the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. In addition to their London campus, the university has campuses in Qatar and Australia. 

UCL has 11 academic wings ranging from arts and humanities to medical sciences. It ranks 12th in US News’ list of Best Global Universities. The university offers 403 undergraduate degrees. Additionally, it offers 621 master’s degrees, and 271 online courses/degrees. The online courses are a mix of certificate as well as postgraduate degrees in all of their available academic wings. 


Distance Learning: Top Universities Offering Online Courses for International Students

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Georgia Institute of Technology 

Georgia Institute of Technology or Georgia Tech was established in 1885. It is a research University in Atlanta, USA. The university has campuses in Savannah, Shenzhen, and Singapore.

The university offers 35 bachelor‍‍`s and over 100 master’s programs across its 6 colleges and 29 schools. The university offers 13 distance learning master’s programs for the aspirants. It is part of the Georgia Tech Professional Education program. The master’s degrees range from analytics, and cybersecurity to industrial engineering. 

Boston University 

Boston University is a private research university situated in Boston, Massachusetts. The university was founded in 1839 and has consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the USA. Outside of the USA, the university has campuses in London, Paris, and Sydney. 

Boston University offers over 300 undergraduate programs that can be coupled as majors and minors. 

As for masters, the university offers around 225 programs in a range of disciplines. Boston University Online Learning is a leading distance learning program according to US News ranking. Online Learning currently offers concentration, bachelor‍‍`s, master‍‍`s, doctorate, and certificate in 23 different streams. 

University of Maryland 

The University of Maryland was founded as a land-grant research university in 1856. It is the largest in the state as well as in the greater Washington metropolitan area. The University of Maryland ranked at 169th position in the QS ranking this year. 

There are over 300 degree-providing courses in the university. Over 100 of them are undergraduate, 107 master‍‍`s, and 83 doctoral programs. Their Global Campus offers around 125 degrees (masters) and certificates through a distance learning program. These programs encompass all the major streams offered by the main campus. 

Distance Learning: Top Universities Offering Online Courses for International Students

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University of Texas at Austin 

The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university located in Austin, Texas. It’s the premier university of the University of Texas System and also the first in terms of students enrolled. According to the QS ranking, UT Austin currently ranks at 58th globally. 

The university offers 111 different undergraduate degrees in 76 majors across 22 different streams. UT Austin has a “University Extension” program under which it provides distance learning opportunities. The extension program covers about 8 different streams and offers a certificate and master‍‍`s program. No undergraduate degree is provided through distance learning at UT Austin.

Ohio State University 

The Ohio State University is a public land-grant research university founded in 1870. The university has an R1 status with very high research activities. QS ranking holds OSU at 151st position globally. 

OSU has over 300 programs under its curriculum. Among them, the University offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and 90 postgraduate majors. The Ohio State Online is their flagship distance learning program offering certificates, associate, bachelor‍‍`s, master‍‍`s, and doctoral degrees. The courses are sampled from 12 different streams providing ample choice for the students.

Harvard University 

Harvard University was founded in 1636 as Harvard College. It is the oldest higher education institution in the USA. It also leads the list of private Ivy League research institutes in the USA. The university is ranked 4th globally according to the QS ranking for 2024. 

Harvard University offers distance learning opportunities through the Harvard University Extension School. The university offers bachelor‍‍`s, master‍‍`s, certificates, and pre-meds through the program. Details about the programs, cost, and on-campus experience can be found on their official website.

Distance Learning: Top Universities Offering Online Courses for International Students

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Oxford University 

The University of Oxford offers distance learning through its Department for Continuing Education. Founded in 1096, the university is the second oldest university in the world. It holds the 3rd position in the QS ranking globally. 

The distance learning programs of Oxford University offer certificate courses, diplomas and master‍‍`s degrees through qualifying programs. The diploma degrees are provided at the undergraduate level. It also provides pre-master‍‍`s programs to prepare for the master‍‍`s degrees. Details about the programs can be found on the academic portal of the Department of Continuing Education of the university.

Final Words 

Global connectivity has made it easier to learn from the best institutes in the world. Almost every leading university in the world has a distance learning program today. So far, we have discussed 8 top-ranked universities around the world that offer distance learning programs for international students. In these educational institutes, online programs have been designed to cater to students and professionals alike. Individuals can enroll in these courses or programs to enhance their knowledge or to achieve degrees for professional acceleration. Distance learning is increasingly becoming a popular means compared to campus learning. 

Authored by SHAHRIAR RABAB, this article was first published in the website of United News of Bangladesh (UNB). 

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