Top 10 Distance Education Universities in India

The Open University system is flexible in terms of admission, choice of programs, duration and age requirements, teaching methods, and evaluation procedures. Check out the top 10 distance universities in India here.

Distance education is considered to be a very modern way of learning and gives more emphasis on self-study by the learner himself. This method is remarkably different from correspondence education as students learn sitting at home with the means of communication technology. The students can interact, debate, evaluate, and give their feedback despite the barriers of distance and time.

Distance education is one of the most popular options for students who cannot attend regular classes. Whether it be due to a job or any other factor, students can now continue their college education with the help of distance learning.

With new, efficient, and widely available technology, this education method has gained popularity among the youth. Understanding the need of the hour, a number of elementary schools, secondary schools, universities, and businesses have started to offer distance education at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in India.

Distance Education Advantages

Here is a list of the advantages of going for Distance Education:

  • Flexible education system
  • Easy Curriculum
  • No Regular classes
  • Earn along with learning
  • Less course fee

Distance Education Disadvantages

Have a look at some disadvantages of Distance Education

  • Lack of classroom education
  • No social interaction with fellows
  • No exposure to regular campus life

List of Top 10 Distance Education Universities in India

Here is a list of top 10 universities that provide students with quality distance education:


Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), popularly referred to as the People’s University is one of the most reputed universities in India. The university has a professionally qualified and experienced team of faculty that is dedicatedly devoted to developing knowledge, skills, attitudes, and value through dynamic and interactive methods of learning and grooming the students. IGNOU provides undergraduate, postgraduate, certificate and diploma courses to students in arts, science, commerce, and management fields.

Important features of IGNOU:

  • Tele-counseling for student groups
  • Training Study Centre Counselors /Coordinators
  • Administrative interaction with Regional Centre functionaries
  • Extended Contact Programme (ECP) with students
  • Teaching-end studios located at IGNOU Campus, New Delhi, and about 850 receivers ‘nodes’ located in IGNOU Regional Centers and Study Centers

2. Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning

Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning holds the second position on our list. SCDL offers Post Graduate Diploma, Diploma and Certificate programs across a variety of management courses.

Important features of SCDL:

  • Introduction of a “Blended Learning” methodology for all the programs offered at SCDL
  • Interactive e-Learning content as a supplementary learning methodology to improve the understanding of concepts
  • Virtual Classroom facility with the faculty has removed the distance barrier between the teacher and the taught
  • Online Faculty Chat Sessions allow students to interact with faculty

3. Sikkim Manipal University

Sikkim Manipal University has contributed to the education revolution in its own way and is recognized by the University Grants Commission and approved by the Government of India. Sikkim Manipal University offers quality education to the scholars from North and Northeastern components of India.

Important features of SMU:

  • The institute is among the top leading institutes in India
  • The objective of the SMU is to support, promote and undertake the advancement of academics

4. IMT Distance and Open Learning Institute

IMT Distance and Open Learning Institute is on number 4 on our list. The Centre has taken the lead in preparing managers of tomorrow armed with a distinct vision, blended with technology and skills. The centre strives to create all-rounder leaders in management and entrepreneurship by helping its students acquire the necessary skills.

Courses Offered at IMT CDL include:

Some popular courses offered by IMT – CDL are as follows:

  • Two Year Post-Graduate Diploma in Management
  • One Year Post-Graduate Diplomas in Business Administration
  • One Year Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (Executive) with specialization in –
  • Financial Management
  • Operations Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Information Systems 

5. Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University

The university aims to spread and promote higher education among the underprivileged and has set up study centers in remote rural areas. It has collaborations with institutes like the Rehabilitation Council of India, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management and Indian Institute of Material Management, etc.

The university aims to provide an easily accessible system of teaching and learning through education inputs like practical classes, distance teaching, satellite communication teaching, etc. Bhoj University gives special emphasis to target groups of learners coming from rural areas and especially those with a disability.

6. Dr. BR Ambedkar Open University (BRAOU)

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University (BRAOU) has a wide network of 206 study centers spread throughout the state of Andhra Pradesh. The University follows the motto “Education at Your Doorstep”.

The University caters especially to women, working people and those who want to improve their academic qualifications and professional skills. The University lays special focus on socially disadvantaged and geographically isolated people who never had access to higher education earlier.

7. Netaji Subhas Open University

Netaji Subhas Open University is the premier State Open University in India. The university has set up 31 study centres to provide the students with distance education in Bachelor Degree Programme (BDP) in Arts & Commerce, 5 study centres for Arts & Commerce Courses under the BDP.

Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Science subjects, Post Graduate Degree Programme in Science subject (Mathematics) and Arts Subjects (History and Social Work) have also been made available to the students.

8. Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU)

Maharishi Dayanand University provides a wide variety of courses through means of distance learning. Maharshi Dayanand University has Students Support Services Centres (SSSC) in open and distance learning system that are not only confined to interactive counseling or solving the learner’s problems but also includes personality development, soft-skills, career counseling, community education, promoting open and distance learning as per the National Education Policy i.e. Education for All.

Further, the SSSCs also facilitate learning, counselling and solve the problems of the distance learners faced during self-study with respect to the study material supplied to them by the Directorate. Through SSSCs, these learners get an opportunity to interact with the counsellors as well as with the peer group. 

9. Karnataka State Open University

Karnataka State Open University is located in Manasagangotri, Mysore. It is recognized as one of the best open universities in India imparting distance education.

The University System is a respected higher-learning organization known for its distinctive strengths in providing superior and relevant distance learning programs to its learners. In pursuing this vision, the University System:

  • Creates interactive, effective learning environments for all constituents
  • Serves its constituents’ diverse personal and professional development needs
  • Expands access to affordable programs for underserved learners

10. Acharya Nagarjuna University (CDE)

Acharya Nagarjuna University’s Centre for Distance Education (CDE) was established in the year 1976.

The university has the following features:

  • Enrolment either through the Centre for Distance Education or through the Study Centre of Student’s choice
  • Admissions are done twice a year i.e., Academic Year Batch (July to June), Calendar Year Batch (January to December)
  • Weekend Classes / Practicals through Study Centres.
  • The University offers more than 75 courses.
  • A wide network of Examination Centres for the convenience of the students.
  • Offers quality education at an affordable cost

We can say that the Open University system is flexible in terms of admission, choice of programmes, duration and age requirements, teaching methods and evaluation procedures. Thus, it offers an alternative channel to those who missed the opportunities for higher education.

All the best!

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