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By Yinebeb Bahru

The COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call for the education sector in Ethiopia. The unforeseen disruption to traditional learning methods highlighted the urgent need for hybrid learning.

As a result, in 2020, the Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA), the nation’s education regulatory body, issued a directive, allowing for colleges and universities to offer online classes for undergraduate and postgraduate courses for the first time in Ethiopia.

This directive empowered institutions that were already well-equipped for online education but were hindered from offering the service due to the absence of a legal framework. According to the directive, any governmental or private educational establishment intending to deliver online education must fulfill specific facilities, infrastructure, human resource, and other requisites.

With the opening of this sector, certain institutions have capitalized on the opportunity and transitioned to offering online degree and maser’s programs after being accredited by HERQA. These online programs in Ethiopia offer students a flexible, affordable, and accessible means of attaining a high-quality education.

Now, all that is needed to enroll in higher education and achieve academic goals are digital skills, a stable internet connection, and a computer with a webcam, speaker, and microphone.

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Here are three Ethiopian higher educational institutions providing online degree and master’s programs:

American College of Technology (ACT)

ACT is among the colleges in Ethiopia authorized to offer online degree programs. Currently, ACT provides three online education programs for master’s students in Business Administration, Leadership, and Project Management. These programs, costing approximately 2600 birr per month, feature virtual sessions held in the evenings during weekdays and/or weekends via Microsoft Teams. This platform enables students to interact with both faculty and classmates.

Additionally, ACT allows students to transition to full-time programs after classes have commenced.

ET Online College

Located in Addis Ababa, ET Online College is a newly established private higher education institution with a strong digital focus. The college offers a range of undergraduate and graduate online programs, including Economics, Marketing, Business Administration, Information Technology, and Cybersecurity.

The college’s unique approach means there is no on-campus requirement. All registration and fee-related information is available on their website, making the college accessible to students from across Ethiopia.

Yardstick International College

Yardstick is one of the earliest private colleges in Ethiopia and offers online master’s programs in Leadership and Business Administration. The college is currently open for student enrollment.


Yinebeb Bahru is a Training Associate for the Dutch-based consulting firm R&D Group Ethiopia office. He is passionate about technology, startups, innovation, finance, writing analysis, research & development. The writer can be reached at: [email protected]


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