Distance Learning Universities In South Africa (2024)

Distance learning is an efficient way of studying, and the concept has become more popular over the years. Distance learning universities in South Africa offer a wide range of courses, from law to computer science.

Distance learning universities in South Africa include University of South Africa, Cape Penisula University of Technology, University of KwaZulu Natal, University of the Free State, and University of Pretoria amongst others.

Distance Learning Universities In South Africa

1. University of South Africa (UNISA)

The University of South Africa (UNISA) is the largest university in South Africa and has more than 300 campuses across the country. UNISA has over 250,000 students, who study a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. There are over 700 different courses available at UNISA, so you can be sure that there’s something for everyone!

If you want a university education but don’t want to leave the comfort of your home, then online distance learning programmes are an excellent option. Distance learners can choose from a wide range of degrees including science, engineering, business and arts subjects – whatever your interests might be! UNISA is one of the distance learning universities in South Africa.

2. Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) is a public university in Cape Town, South Africa. CPUT was established in 1959 and is one of the largest universities in South Africa. It offers a range of academic programs at certificate, diploma and degree levels for enrollments through conventional modes of instruction as well as through distance learning or e-learning. CPUT is also one of the leading providers of short courses and professional training across multiple industries.

3. University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban)

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is a university with its main campus in Durban, South Africa. It was formed in 2004 from the merger of the University of Natal (UN), the University of Durban-Westville (UDW) and the University of Zululand. These three institutions were part of what was once called the “University Of South Africa” before they became separate entities by law; they were originally created as separate campuses but later joined together through a process known as incorporation.

The first university established on this site was founded by John Langalibalele Dube in 1897 as an institution for higher education for blacks only known as Bantu Training College which later developed into Fort Hare University College following political changes after World War II until it became what we know today at UKZN.

4. University of the Free State (UFS)

The University of the Free State (UFS) is a multi-campus public research university located in Bloemfontein, South Africa. It was established in 1904 as the then Orange Free State’s only tertiary education provider, and has since grown to become one of the largest universities in South Africa with over 30 000 students and 1 100 staff members across 11 campuses.

5. University of Pretoria (UP)

If you want to study at the University of Pretoria but are unable to attend campus classes because you live too far away or have other obligations that make it difficult for you to be present on campus, distance learning is the perfect option for you. Distance learning courses allow students who have full-time jobs or other responsibilities outside the university to continue their studies through an online course.

Online courses at the Distance learning centers of the University of Pretoria are flexible and allow students more control over their schedules which makes it ideal for working adults who wish to further their education while maintaining careers and family responsibilities.

6. The North West University (NWU)

The North West University (NWU) is one of South Africa’s top learning institutions and it has been ranked among the top universities in Africa.

The university has over 40 000 students from more than 100 countries studying various courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD levels. It offers a wide range of programmes across its 12 faculties: Accounting, Business Management, Education, Engineering and Technology, Health Sciences, Humanities & Social Sciences; Law; Nursing Science; Pharmacy & Medicine; Physical Science & Engineering; Science & Technology Innovation Studies as well as Theology & Philosophy.

The university has campuses in Pretoria and Mafikeng (both Hectares). Tuition fees are calculated based on how many years you will be studying full time at NWU with payment due three months prior to registration or before commencement day – whichever comes first. Please note that any student who registers without payment being made prior to registration will not be allowed access onto campus until payment is made.


UNIN is a distance learning university in South Africa. The university was established in 2018, making it one of the newest universities in South Africa. It’s also one of the few private distance learning universities that offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. UNIN offers degrees across many disciplines, including business administration, information technology, law and social sciences.

The University believes that:

  • Students should be able to study part time or full time according to their own personal circumstances;
  • Students can choose where they study – they aren’t restricted to a campus environment;
  • Students can move from one course level to another without having to repeat previous courses;

Other distance learning universities in South Africa

There are many other distance learning universities in South Africa. These include public institutions that offer courses such as Bachelor of Education (BEd) and Diploma in Education (DipEdu). The number of students enrolled in distance learning programs has increased since the year 2000, which has led to a growth in this course type. Most of these institutions offer several degrees including a Bachelor’s degree (BA), Master’s degree (MA), Doctorate degrees (PhD) and Postgraduate certificates and diplomas which can be completed online or as part of an on-campus course.



In conclusion, there are many distance learning universities in South Africa. The courses offered at these universities ensure that students can study and acquire higher education without having to leave their homes or towns.

Distance learning universities offer flexibility and convenience for students who cannot attend classes regularly due to work or other commitments. Students can also study while they are working or travelling abroad by taking online courses from these institutions.

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