The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) seeks to build peace through international cooperation in education, the sciences, and culture.

The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), formerly known as the International Council of Correspondence Education, was founded in 1938 and changed its name to ICDE in 1982. The ICDE established its permanent secretariat in Oslo, Norway in 1988 and now has over 190 institutional members and nearly 20 individual members.

Founded in 1987, the Asian Association of Open Universities Conference (AAOU) is an important non-governmental academic organisation for open and distance education institutions in Asia.

Founded in 1991, the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) is the most influential non-profit organisation in the field of distance and e-learning education in Europe.