List of Distance Learning Scholarships for Developing Countries

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Have you ever wondered if there are distance learning scholarships for developing countries? Are you interested in knowing more about fully funded distance learning scholarship opportunities for developing countries? Look no further because, in this post, I will share information on some of the best distance learning scholarships available this year. 

A distance learning scholarship is a type of scholarship that allows you to study in any part of the world and at the same time, enjoy the full benefit of international education. This type of study is cheaper, flexible, self-paced and convenient because it is online.

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Distance Learning Paths

Some of the most popular distance learning paths include

  • University of Edinburgh Masters (MS) Degrees
  • Commonwealth Distance Learning Degrees
  • Online Courses
  • University of the People Online Tuition-Free Degrees

Let’s Expand them:

  • University of the People Degrees

University of the People offers tuition-free, online, accredited, American university degrees in business administration and computer science. World-class professors teach the courses from renowned universities such as NYU, Harvard, Oxford, and more in a supportive distance learning classroom setting. University of the People prepares its students for employment by offering internship and mentoring programs to gain hands-on experience with its partners such as HP and Microsoft; in addition to the academic study of the industry.

SEE: Study at University of the People: Is it worth it? 10 Things You Need to Know

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  • Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships

The Commonwealth Distance learning scholarships support international students from developing countries to pursue Master’s degree courses offered in partnership with top universities in developing countries or delivered directly by accredited UK institutions. The scholarship covers only tuition fees.

  • Edinburgh Global Distance Learning Scholarships

Every year, the University of Edinburgh offers scholarships to outstanding students from some selected developing countries to pursue Distance learning Master’s programmes offered by the university.

There are different scholarships available in the Edinburgh Global Distance Learning Scholarships, and each scholarship covers full tuition fees for 3 to 4 years.

SEE ALSO: University of Edinburgh – All you need to know

  • EdX Free Online Courses at Premier Universities

EdX is an online learning platform that grants students across the world, the opportunity to take free online courses accredited and offered by Premier Universities around the World. The courses and degree programs are available to all students irrespective of their demographic background who are passionate about advancing their own knowledge. EdX courses are free for students from developing countries with the exception of professional education courses. Most courses are free but require a certain fee for verified certificates.

  • Coursera

Coursera is an education company that partners with top universities across the world to offer free online courses to students all over the world. They currently offer courses in a wide variety of fields ranging from Humanities, Biology, Medicine, Mathematics, Social Science, Computer Science, Business and many others.

  • Google

Google has developed its own online certificated courses in varying subjects covering digital skills. What is unique to Google courses is the bite-sized videos ie the videos are often 3-7 minutes in length thus easier to digest.

Google also partners with Coursera to develop its courses.

Do you want to learn entry-level skills in SEO, SEM, email, content marketing, other marketing, product design, product management, software dev in 6 months or less? Take a Google course today.

Google certificates are widely accepted as industry standard and will get you into many start-up, multinational doors etc.

  • Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a non-profit organization with the goal of changing the education sector by providing a world-class education for students in developing countries. They have a collection of over 5,000 videos on different fields of human endeavor ranging from Physics, History, Finance, and many other areas.

Khan Academy help you learn at your pace.

Distance learning scholarships allow you to pursue studies from accredited universities in your own country or anywhere you may be.

These are the Top Distance Learning Scholarships

University of Edinburgh MasterCard Foundation Scholarships

All African countries are invited to apply (We are particularly interested to consider applications from individuals who have faced barriers to education through disability or forced migration. We also particularly invite applications from nationals of Malawi, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). 

Selection Criteria: 

  • The scholarships are competitive and awarded broadly on the basis of academic merit. Applicants financial, personal, and family circumstances will also be taken into account.
  • Applicants must also be committed to returning to Africa following their graduation to give back to their home community and country.

Value of Scholarship: The scholarship will cover the full tuition fees and a small study stipend to allow for access to high-quality internet. The scholarship is designed to cover three-years of part-time online study.
On top of financial support, Scholars will participate in activities as part of the wider Scholars Program with the University of Edinburgh, including regular online workshops with our scholars, online coaching and support, and the opportunity to attend regional scholar-led workshops and events.

SEE MORE for more details about this scholarship offer.

Matilda Mwaba Scholarship at University of London for African Women

Program type: Postgraduate
Deadline: 1st August (STILL OPEN)

Ms. Matilda Mwaba was co-founder of the Zambia National Organisation for Women in Sport Physical Activity and Recreation (NOWSPAR) where she served as Chief Executive Officer. Her work focused on advocacy for the empowerment girls and women in and through sport, increasing women and girls participation in sport, sport for development, organisational development, and policy engagement on the integrity of sport.

Eligibility: To be considered for the scholarship you must:

  • Be a woman
  • Have an offer for the module/Postgraduate certificate
  • Be of age 35 and under
  • Be a permanent resident of a country in Africa
  • Be able to provide relevant references

Value of Award:  The scholarship will cover the fees for one short course (module) of the University of London International Sports Management by distance learning. Successful recipients of the scholarship will also receive mentorship in the specialist subject area.

SEE MORE for more details about this scholarship offer.

50 University of Edinburgh Distance Learning Scholarships

Program type: Masters
Deadline: 31 March (annual)

University of Edinburgh Distance Learning Scholarships will be awarded to students who have applied for admission on a part-time basis for any of the eligible programmes listed below

Clinical Education, MSc
MSc Epidemiology
Family Medicine, MSc
General Surgery, ChM
International Development, MSc
MSc Surgical Sciences
ChM Trauma & Orthopaedics
ChM Urology
ChM Vascular & Endovascular Surgery

Value of University of Edinburgh Distance Learning Scholarships: The scholarship includes full tuition fee and resources to enhance student participation, access and research skills.

SEE MORE for more details about this scholarship offer.

University of Edinburgh Online Surgical Learning for Developing Countries

Program type: Masters (Law)
Deadline: 31 March (annual)

Eligibility: The scholarships will be awarded to a candidate who is accepted for admission on to an eligible programme and who are candidates who are citizens of and resident in one of the following developing Commonwealth countries above.

Value of Scholarship: The scholarship includes full tuition fee and resources to enhance student participation, access and research skills. This includes participation in a summer school; contribution towards student costs of internet access & printing (journal articles, etc); and a contribution to project costs (materials, travel, etc).

SEE MORE for more details about this scholarship offer.

Fully-funded Distance Learning Scholarships in Tropical Forestry at Bangor University, UK

This postgraduate course is primarily intended for students who already have an interest in forestry and who wish to learn more about the environmental and societal benefits that tropical forests can provide. Suitable applicants include individuals working in forestry/forest-related industries/ natural resource management, particularly in the fields of planning, regulation, policy, monitoring, conservation and environmental protection. 

Eligibility/Criteria: In order to be considered for scholarship, applicants are expected:

  • to have at least an upper second class degree in a relevant subject (e.g. forestry, conservation, land management, natural sciences, economics).  Relevant work experience is also valued.  Applicants with a lower second class degree with relevant and sufficient work experience may also be considered.
  • Regardless of English language ability and educational background, all applicants from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda and Sri Lanka are required to take an IELTS and obtain a minimum overall score of 6.5, if they wish to be considered for a CSC scholarship. 
  • Applicants from the eligible countries do not need proof of English Language proficiency if they have studied their education through the medium of English.
  • In order to study this course, students must have regular access to a computer with internet access, as the University cannot provide these to distance learning students.
  • Applicants should ensure they are eligible for entry to the course and that distance learning is suitable for them before applying for a CSC scholarship.

Value & Duration of Scholarships: Scholarships are worth £18,000, which covers tuition fees and a generous bursary to enable scholars to attend a compulsory two-week study tour scheduled to be held overseas in July/August 2023. A small study grant is also available to help scholars with study costs associated with distance learning (e.g. internet usage).

SEE MORE for more details about this scholarship offer.

University of Edinburgh Scholarships in Ophthalmology

Program type: Masters
Deadline: 15 June (annual)

A number of online distance learning Masters scholarships are available in the field of Ophthalmology for students from Africa, South Asia, Caribbean Islands, Pacific Islands, Central and Latin America who have been accepted for admission to the two-year, part-time online ChM (Master of Surgery) in Clinical Ophthalmology.


The scholarships will be awarded to students who are accepted for admission on to the online distance learning Master of Surgery (ChM) in Clinical Ophthalmology at the University of Edinburgh, one of the Edinburgh Surgery Online suite of Masters programmes.
Applicants should already have been offered a place at the University of Edinburgh and should have firmly accepted that offer or be intending to do so. Applicants should be advanced trainee ophthalmologists. 
Applications from ophthalmologists in independent practice may also be considered.
Applicants must be both nationals of and resident in the following countries in link below

Value of Award: Each scholarship will cover the tuition fee for the entire programme of study and funding towards a laptop and internet service.  The award is tenable for two academic years, subject to academic progress.

SEE MORE for more details about this scholarship offer.

Tuition Free University by Distance Learning at University of the People

Program type: Undergraduate, Masters
Deadline: 16 May

The university offers two-year associate and four-year bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, computer science, and health science, as well as an MBA program. Recently, the University of the People (UoPeople) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) have launched a tuition-free, online Master of Education (M.Ed.).

Criteria: UoPeople accepts students who have graduated high school, have access to a computer and the Internet and have sufficient English skills to study at the University.

Value of Scholarship: The university offers a variety of scholarships. Some of the scholarships can be found below

SEE MORE for more details about this scholarship offer.

Edinburgh Global Online Learning Masters Scholarships for Developing Countries

Program type: Masters
Deadline: 1st June

The University of Edinburgh will offer scholarships for distance learning Master’s programmes offered by the University. Scholarships will be available for students pursuing any distance learning Master’s programme offered by the University.

Selection Criteria : The scholarship will be awarded broadly on the basis of academic merit. Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a UK first class or 2:1 Honours degree at undergraduate level or the international equivalent.

Value of Scholarship: Each scholarship will cover the full tuition fees.

SEE MORE for more details about this scholarship offer.

Canon Collins University of London LLM Masters by Distance Learning Scholarships

Program type: Masters (Law)
Deadline: 30th June

These scholarships allow individuals to study for the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and/or the Master of Laws (LLM) by distance learning, at the University of London. Applicants can start at any level, and do not need to complete the whole programme. For example, applicants can start at Postgraduate Certificate level and work their way through to the LLM, or can stop after completing the PG Certificate. Applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree may start at LLM level, skipping the PG Certificate and Diploma.

Eligibility: Applicant must be:

a national of, or have refugee status in, one of the following countries: Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
normally resident in one of these countries
in possession of the necessary qualifications required for admission to the programme;
currently employed in full or part-time work;
able to commit a minimum of 10 hours to study per week.

Value of Scholarship: These scholarships are made possible by the generosity of the University of London, who will waiver full tuition and examination entry fees of selected candidates. Local examination fees are not included.

SEE MORE for more details about this scholarship offer.

University of Manchester Equity & Merit (Fully-funded) Masters Scholarships

Program type: Masters
Deadline: 31 August (annual)

There are 30 scholarships (20 for full-time study and 10 for online study) available each year for a wide range of courses in engineering, environment, health sciences, development, education, textiles and law. The scheme is open to applicants from Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe

The awards are intended for those who couldn’t afford to study in Manchester without a scholarship. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and all applications are considered on their merit. We particularly encourage women to apply. 

We offer two types of scholarship:

  • One-year, full-time, on-campus master’s
  • Part-time distance learning master’s (three to five years’ duration)

Value of Manchester Equity & Merit Award: The scholarships cover full tuition fees, and for students who will be studying in Manchester, the award includes return international airfares, living expenses and visas.

Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme

  • Program type: Masters/PhD Degree
  • Deadline: 31 March (annual)

The Aga Khan Foundation provides scholarship opportunities to outstanding students from developing countries through a 50% grant basis and 50% loan in a highly competitive application process annually.

The foundation gives more preference to Master level courses. Also, the application for short term courses is not considered.

The foundation accepts applications from students from the following countries: Mozambique, Madagascar, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, Syria, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

In Canada, USA, UK, Portugal and France, applications are only accepted from students who are from any of the developing countries mentioned above and are interested in pursuing development-related courses but have no financial means of financing their education.

MORE: 50+ Scholarships to Study in the UK for Nigerian Students

Scholarship’s worth: The Aga Khan foundation assists students with tuition fees only. If you need to travel to the distance learning centre of the accredited institution under the scholarship offer, you will be responsible for all the travel expenses.

In most cases, half of the tuition fee is considered as a loan, and you will be expected to pay within a period of 5 years exactly six months after the study period funded by the foundation.

The main criteria for selecting lucky candidates include

  • Excellent academic performance records
  • genuine financial need
  • admission to a reputable university running distance learning programmes
  • the relevance of the field of study to the AKDN vision and mission
  • applicants are also expected to have years of experience in their desired field of interest

SEE HERE for more details about this scholarship offer.

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships

The Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are for students from developing Commonwealth countries who wish to pursue a part-time master’s degree programme by distance learning on selected courses offered by UK universities. The scholarships are funded by the UK Department of International Development. 

Eligibility: Students from the following developing countries can apply for the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships: Nigeria, Uganda, Tuvalu, The Gambia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leonne, Samoa, Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Kenya’ Kiribati, Guyana’ India, Ghana, Eswatini, Cameroon, Zambia, Vanuatu and Bangladesh.

Scholarship Worth: The scholarship covers all areas including the full tuition fees, grants to contribute to study-related costs, partnership development costs, return ticket from the candidate’s home country to the UK distance learning location.

The eligibility criteria: There are certain factors that are taken into consideration to ascertain whether you qualify for the scholarship.

  • The quality of the course you wish to study
  • Outstanding academic performance and records
  • A track record for delivery the course by distance learning
  • Copies of external/independent reports of the programme undertaken in recent years
  • Proof of your inability to study the programme without external funding or scholarship
  • Applicants must possess a minimum of second class upper (2:1) in his/her first degree. Candidates with lower qualifications may be considered in rare occasions.
  • Applicant must be a permanent resident in any of the developing Commonwealth countries listed above.
  • Applicant must be a citizen or have been granted refugee status in any of the developing Commonwealth countries mentioned above or must be a British Protected Person.
  • Applicant must write an essay on the development impact of the course of study, including how the course can be applied to solve problems in developing countries and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Feasibility test to ascertain whether the course takes into account the appropriate use of technology and whether the course providers identify the target audience of potential applicants and recruit them successfully 

Rotary Foundation Global Scholarship Grants for Development

The Rotary Foundation offers scholarships to students from developing countries who wish to carry out their graduate-level coursework by distance learning but do not have the financial means to do so.

The courses are run in an accredited university located in a country where there is a host Rotary club or district, outside the applicant’s country.

The Rotary Foundation Global Grants can be used to fund scholarships with high impact and sustainable 

outcomes in any of the Rotary’s six areas of focus Water and sanitation Basic education, Disease prevention and treatment, Maternal and child health, Peace and conflict prevention/resolution and Economic and community development.

Scholarship value/inclusions: The scholarship is worth $30,000 and covers the following expenses visa, tuition fees, travel expenses, school supplies, and other costs. Personal expenses are not covered by scholarship funding.

Application guidelines: Applicant must NOT BE

  • A Rotarian
  • An employee of a club or any international rotary entity
  • A spouse or lineal descendant of any person in the two categories mentioned above

Applicant must be willing to study outside their home country or distance learning centre located in their region. Applicant must also provide proof of university admission as at the time of application.

Application instructions: Interested applicants should contact their local rotary clubs via rotary club locator. For more information about this scholarship, you can log on to the Rotary’s Official Scholarship Website.

Benefits of Distance Learning Scholarships

  • It saves time and money.
  • It also provides you with the benefit of international learning by residing in your home country
  • If you desire to access your education simultaneously with your jobs or other tasks, distance education is for you.
  • It doesn’t matter where you live; you can gain your degree from anywhere in the world
  • Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships provide full tuition fees and other costs of study including residential component costs where necessary.

Conclusively, the truth is that you can have access to an international standard of education right from your country. All thanks to distance learning scholarship opportunities. I believe the information I have provided on each of the opportunities here will help you land a perfect one that suits your field of study.