Top 10 Best Distance Learning Universities in Nigeria

Top 10 Best Distance Learning Universities in Nigeria

Check out the top 10 best distance learning universities in Nigeria today. In recent years, distance learning has emerged as a transformative force in higher education, making quality education accessible to a broader audience.

In Nigeria, where the pursuit of knowledge knows no bounds, distance learning universities have become a beacon of hope for those seeking flexible and affordable education options.

This article delves into online and distance education in Nigeria to present a comprehensive list of the “Top 10 Best Distance Learning Universities.” Guess what? The University of LAGOS, DLI tops our list. You should check out the top 10 most affordable private universities in Nigeria.

These institutions have embraced technology to facilitate learning and consistently demonstrated their commitment to providing quality education to eager minds across the nation. 

Join us on this educational journey as we explore the top contenders in Nigeria’s distance learning landscape.

Top 10 Best Distance Learning Universities in Nigeria

The Top distance learning institutions in Nigeria are listed below:

1. University Of Lagos Distance Learning Institute (UNILAG DLI)

Best Distance learning Universities in Nigeria - UNILAG DLI

The University of Lagos Distance Learning Institute (UNILAG DLI) currently stands as one of Nigeria’s leading institutions for distance education, earning its place as the second-best University in this domain. 

UNILAG DLI operates as the dedicated organ within the University of Lagos responsible for orchestrating and managing Open and Distance Learning programs. Within the university structure, it enjoys an elevated status akin to a faculty’s.

With autonomous authority, the institute boasts its own Management Board and Academic Board. This autonomy empowers UNILAG DLI to independently formulate policies, hire its staff, oversee academic programs, conduct examinations, manage day-to-day operations, and generate necessary funds for sustained functioning.

Related: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Lagos State for Students

UNILAG DLI’s commitment to excellence in distance education has solidified its position as a premier institution in the Nigerian educational landscape.

How long is the DLI course?

The DLI courses vary in length, ranging from 36 to 64 weeks. The duration depends on the language’s difficulty. DLIFLC serves active and reserve components, foreign military students, and federal government and law enforcement agency personnel.

What are the requirements for UNILAG DLI screening?

To undergo screening for UNILAG DLI, you need the following documents:

  • Screening Form generated from stage 1 (Colored and photocopied)
  • UNILAG Online Application Form (for Direct Entry candidates only: Colored and photocopied)
  • JAMB Admission Letter (Institution Copy: Colored and photocopy)
  • UTME Result Slip (Colored and photocopy)
  • Qualifications such as JUPEB/A-LEVEL/OND/HND/BSc

Do UNILAG DLI students participate in NYSC?

Yes, UNILAG DLI students can participate in the NYSC program. However, if you are above 30 years of age upon completing your program, you will receive an exemption letter instead of the NYSC certificate.

How much does the UNILAG DLI form for 2023 cost? 

The UNILAG DLI form 2023 application fee is N17,500.00 (seventeen thousand five hundred naira) only.

2. University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre (UIDLC)

Located in Oyo State, one of the richest states in Nigeria, UIDLC is a part of the University of Ibadan dedicated to providing open and distance learning education. This mode of education relies on technology and minimizes physical interaction between learners and facilitators. 

UIDLC students come from various locations within and outside the country for convenience. Importantly, UIDLC academic activities are conducted by the same lecturers as the regular mode, and students receive duplicate certificates, ensuring parity of esteem between the two categories.

Acceptance Fee at UI

Candidates who have received provisional admission and generated their admission letters on CAPS should pay a non-refundable acceptance fee of Fifty Thousand Hundred Naira (N50,000.00).

Courses Offered at UI Distance Learning:

The following methods are available at UI Distance Learning:

  • BA (Hons) English
  • BA (Hons) Philosophy and Public Affairs
  • BA (Hons) History & Diplomatic Studies
  • BA (Hons) Communication & Language Arts
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology
  • BSc (Hons) Economics
  • BSc (Hons) Political Science
  • BSc (Hons) Sociology

JAMB Requirement for UI Distance Learning

Sitting for the JAMB examination is unnecessary to gain admission to the University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre (DLC). However, admitted candidates must register on the JAMB Portal for administrative purposes.

UI Distance Learning Admission for 2023

Enrollment for the University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre’s 2022/2023 Academic Session will commence on March 13, 2023. Eligible applicants are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and apply.

Related: List of Approved Nursing Schools In Nigeria

3. University Of Nigeria, Nsukka Centre For Distance And E-Learning (UNN CDeL)

The University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) has established the Centre for Distance and e-Learning (CDeL) in response to the growing global demand for flexible and inclusive educational opportunities.

CDeL’s off-campus learning approach is designed to accommodate individuals seeking a more adaptable and versatile learning experience while upholding the same rigorous standards and delivering an education of equal excellence to that of traditional campus-based programs. Moreover, the degrees obtained through this program are accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

UNN now offers a Distance Learning Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program, allowing students to choose from various specialization options such as Accounting, Banking and finance, Management, and Marketing. Importantly, students can enroll in this program anytime throughout the year, providing even greater flexibility and accessibility to higher education.

4. University of Port Harcourt Open and Distance Learning (ODeL)

The University of Port Harcourt offers Open and Distance Learning (ODeL) programs, which utilize various learning materials, including videos, activities, games, and interactive elements, catering to specific skill areas. These programs span at least four semesters and include a practical component involving business proposal development, team projects, and hands-on interventions.

Successful applicants are provided with Android Tablets preloaded with learning materials and free internet access to facilitate their learning journey. Additionally, there are ten days of face-to-face contact and boot camps/practical hours per session.

In alignment with its vision as an entrepreneurial university, the University of Port Harcourt invites applications for various entrepreneurship and skills-based diploma programs through the ODeL mode, including Economics, Law, Marketing, Accounting, Computer Science, Sociology, and Political and Administrative Studies.

The key objectives of these programs are:

A. Cultivate entrepreneurial skills among Nigerian youths.

B. Support and foster the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

C. Enhance participants’ communication skills and teamwork.

D. Establish a pathway for full ODeL delivery at the bachelor’s degree level.

Does Uniport offer online courses? 

Yes, the University of Port Harcourt (Uniport) offers online undergraduate and postgraduate programs, allowing you to pursue your education from the convenience of your home. The Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL) undergraduate program is designed to help you achieve your career goals without needing classes at a physical campus.

Related: Top 10 Cheapest Federal Universities in Nigeria

5. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU)

Best Universities for Distance learning in nigeria - Ahmadu Bello University Zaria (ABU)

The Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Distance Learning Center is dedicated to offering NUC-accredited degrees, regardless of your location. This flexible program accommodates students’ needs and schedules, enabling them to advance their careers conveniently.

At the Distance Learning Centre, ABU students benefit from the expertise of distinguished faculty members who are experts in their respective fields. These faculty members, including entrepreneurs, consultants, and academics, provide individualized Support and foster a collaborative and nurturing learning environment that values human development.

Do I need JAMB for Abu distance learning admission?

Prospective students applying for Abu distance learning programs must provide a JAMB result for at least three years. Scores of 180 and above are considered for admission.

Is ABU Zaria’s distance learning form for 2023/2024 out?

Yes, the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Distance Learning Center (DLC) accepts applications for its NUC-accredited undergraduate programs for the 2023/2024 academic session. You can purchase the ABU Distance Learning admission form online.

6. Federal University of Technology Centre for Open Distance and E-Learning (CODeL)

At the Federal University of Technology, the Center for Open Distance and e-Learning (CODeL) is dedicated to delivering high-quality distance education through innovative training, research, and entrepreneurial services, all powered by Information and Communication Technology.

Established in 2011, CODeL represents a collaborative effort among key stakeholders to fulfill the University’s mission and vision for its distance learning programs. As the focal point for these programs, CODeL is overseen by a Director who reports directly to the University’s Vice-Chancellor.

7. University of Maiduguri Centre for Distance Learning (CDL)

In 2004, the University of Maiduguri established the Center for Distance Learning (CDL) with a clear mission: to supplement traditional universities by providing accessible, affordable, and high-quality education through technology-enabled distance learning, accessible to people of all backgrounds, regardless of geographical, temporal, socioeconomic, or age-related constraints.

CDL Maiduguri offers various degree programs spanning the disciplines of Arts, Humanities, Education, Social Sciences, and Management. In its inaugural year, ten departments participated, enrolling 221 students, which grew to 400 in the subsequent year. CDL offers a diverse range of thirty academic programs, including 28 degree and two advanced diploma programs.

8. Obafemi Awolowo University Distance Learning

The mission of Obafemi Awolowo University Distance Learning is to utilize cutting-edge network technologies to create and offer high-quality distance learning opportunities that cater to diverse educational needs at the local, national, and global levels.

Established in 2002 under the auspices of the Obafemi Awolowo University Governing Council, the institution was entrusted explicitly with facilitating and coordinating the delivery of degree and sub-degree programs using modern information and communication technologies within the open and distance learning framework.

The primary goal of OAU is to enable the development and management of degree, sub-degree, and professional programs through open and distance learning, harnessing the potential of emerging information and communication technologies.

The institution’s vision is to expand the horizons of accessible education, making it open, flexible, and responsive to the rapidly changing demands of the world. It aims to provide globally available education anytime, anywhere, and to anyone seeking knowledge and advancement while continuing to work.

Obafemi Awolowo University Distance Learning, accredited by the NUC, allows you to enhance your career without interrupting your professional commitments. 

9. University Of Abuja Centre For Distance Learning And Continuing Education

The University of Abuja’s Center for Distance Learning and Continuing Education (CDL&CE) is situated at two key locations: the CDL&CE Administrative Block within the UniAbuja Permanent Site (Main Campus) and the UniAbuja CDL&CE facility at No. 4, Ibadan Street, Area 3, Garki, Abuja.

In addition to these physical locations, CDL&CE offers a diverse range of programs tailored to meet the needs of students seeking flexible learning options. 

These programs include undergraduate and postgraduate courses, professional development opportunities, and specialized certifications designed to provide accessible and quality education to a broad audience. 

CDL&CE is committed to enhancing the educational experience through innovative teaching methods and dedicated support services for participants of distance learners and continuing education. 

Whether you want to advance your career, acquire new skills, or pursue higher education, CDL&CE at the University of Abuja supports your educational journey.

Related: Full List of Colleges of Education in Nigeria

10. The University of Ilorin’s Centre for Open and Distance Learning (CODL)

The University of Ilorin’s Centre for Open and Distance Learning (CODL), commonly known as UNILORIN CODL, was established with a clear objective: to broaden access to high-quality university education for a diverse pool of qualified applicants. 

To achieve this goal, CODL employs a blend of online and face-to-face instructional modes, offering students an enriching and flexible learning experience.

Through CODL, students can pursue accredited undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and diploma and certificate programs, all sanctioned by the University of Ilorin.

The foundation for CODL was established with objectives outlined in the University’s strategic plan spanning from 2003 to 2008. Senate approval in 2008 marked the official commencement of this initiative. 

Since then, CODL has made steady progress in realizing its objectives, with subsequent strategic plans for 2009-2013, 2014-2018, and 2019-2023 reinforcing and expanding the investment in open and distance learning.

The flagship undergraduate program offered by CODL is the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, available through the Department of Computer Science in the Faculty of Communication and Information Science. This program is designed to parallel the quality of education offered to regular students.

Additionally, CODL’s initial project, the Post-Doctoral Diploma in Education for the Professional Development of Tertiary Education Teachers, has paved the way for introducing other accredited undergraduate and postgraduate programs, further enhancing the educational opportunities provided by UNILORIN CODL.

How to Apply for a Distance Learning Programme in 2023?

Begin your distance learning degree now with these five steps:

1. Choose Your Preferred Universities and Programs:

Start by selecting the universities and academic programs that align with your goals.

2. Review Admission Deadlines:

Ensure you’re aware of the admission deadlines for your chosen institutions.

3. Submit Your Online Application:

Complete the online application process for the universities you’ve selected.

4. Prepare for Admission Interviews:

Be ready for any admission interviews that may be part of the process.

5. Congratulations, You’re In!:

– Once accepted, you can embark on your distance learning degree journey.

Advantages of Distance Learning 

Flexibility: Distance learning allows students to create their schedules, making it suitable for those who have work or family commitments. They can study at their own pace and convenience.

2. Accessibility: It opens educational opportunities to a broader audience, including individuals in remote or underserved areas who may not have access to traditional education.

3. Cost-Efficiency: Distance learning often costs less than traditional on-campus education. Students can save on commuting, accommodation, and other expenses associated with attending a physical campus.

4. Diverse Course Options: Distance learning provides access to a wide range of courses and programs from universities and institutions worldwide, allowing students to choose from a broader selection of subjects.

5. Self-Discipline: It fosters self-discipline and time management skills as students must be responsible for their learning and meet deadlines independently.

Related: List of Universities in Ogun State

Disadvantages of Distance Learning 

1. Lack of Face-to-Face Interaction: Distance learning needs in-person interaction and social aspects of traditional classrooms. This can lead to feelings of isolation and reduced opportunities for group learning.

2. Technology Challenges: Students may encounter technical issues, such as poor internet connectivity or computer problems, disrupting their learning experience.

3. Self-motivation: Distance learners must be highly motivated and self-driven to succeed. Some individuals may need more external motivation and guidance.

4. Limited Hands-On Experience: Certain fields, like laboratory-based sciences or hands-on vocational training, are challenging to teach effectively through distance learning, as they require physical presence and access to specialized equipment.

5. Assessment and Credibility Concerns: Ensuring the authenticity of assessments and preventing cheating can be more challenging in a distance learning environment. Additionally, some employers or institutions may question the credibility of online degrees.

6. Isolation: The lack of face-to-face interactions and a physical campus can lead to feelings of isolation and detachment from the academic community.

FAQs About Distance Learning Universities In Nigeria 

Is Distance Learning Education Beneficial?

Distance learning, also known as online education, offers several advantages. Virtual courses often provide high-quality education at a lower cost. By avoiding expenses related to physical campuses, such as buildings, classrooms, and administrative overhead, distance educators can pass these savings on to students. This cost-effectiveness can make education more accessible to a broader range of people.

What Is the Leading Distance Education Institution in Nigeria?

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is Nigeria’s foremost institution specializing in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) university education. Not only is it the leading ODL provider, but it also boasts the country’s largest student population among tertiary institutions.

Do Distance Learning Students Participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)?

Part-time, distance learning, and sandwich program graduates are eligible to participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). This means that individuals enrolled in these flexible study arrangements can complete their education while still suitable for NYSC service, thus contributing to national development and gaining valuable experience.

Best Distance Learning Universities in Nigeria (Summary) 

Nigeria’s education landscape has evolved to embrace distance learning as a viable and flexible option for students. The top 10 best distance-learning universities in the country have demonstrated their commitment to delivering quality education to a diverse range of learners. 

These institutions have leveraged modern technology and innovative teaching methods to make education accessible, cost-effective, and relevant to the needs of a rapidly changing world. 

As distance learning continues to grow in popularity, these universities stand out as pioneers in the field, offering opportunities for individuals to pursue their educational and career goals while maintaining their professional and personal commitments. 

Choosing one of these top distance-learning universities in Nigeria can be a significant step toward achieving academic excellence and personal growth.


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