This article explores how standards and codes for collaboration in international higher education influence the educational space of global online education and the way it functions within the context of international development aid. Firstly the article discusses the educational space of higher education and the geography of education whereby the aim is to situate global online education within the on-going discourse on standards in higher education, international development aid, and the knowledge economy. The article then examines a qualitative case study of an Internet-based masters programme attended by students from Europe and Africa. A main focus of the empirical analysis is the students’ experience of being geographically immobile while collaborating online internationally, including how this circumstance affected their motivation and participation and the benefits of the programme. In the concluding discussion it is argued that even though online collaboration among students and educational institutions is not entirely equal, common standards created a space in which positions were challenged and practices were changed over the course of online participation.