Virtual courses

Online learning is the way of the future. Image: StockSnap/Pixabay

Study for free: Top universities are offering free online courses

Do you want to further your education or study something you have always been interested in? There is no better time than now and it won’t cost you a cent.

Virtual courses

Online learning is the way of the future. Image: StockSnap/Pixabay

The global pandemic has changed the world and many aspects of life will never be the same. Education is one of them, with schools moving to online learning in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

On the back of this, many higher education institutions have followed suit and educational organisations around the world are offering free online learning resources.

Free courses at universities like Oxford and Yale

Futurist Graeme Codrington, a partner at TomorrowToday, says we need to take responsibility for keeping ourselves on the cutting edge. Many top universities were now offering a huge variety of courses available online for free, he said, and these include hallowed institutions like Oxford, Yale, Stanford and MIT.

“What these universities are doing is realising, obviously, the real value of going to Harvard or Oxford or one of the world’s leading universities is probably the networking that you get.”

But are they really for free?

Many of the courses are absolutely free and all you need to do is register for the course. You will get access to the lectures and can watch them. In some cases you can download lecture notes as well.

Some courses offer access to discussion boards where you can connect with other people doing the course and communicate. However, it is unlikely you will get feedback from the lecturer.   

Some courses might offer some form of certification at the end of the course which needs to be paid for, but unless you are doing a course to further your career and need proof of completing the course, a certificate isn’t always necessary.

After all, you would have learnt everything you need and want to know – you don’t need a piece of paper to verify that.

What courses are on offer?

There is a wide range of free online courses on offer covering all kinds of topics, from architecture and history of art to engineering, cryptography and winemaking.

The courses are offered by universities and other educational institutions all over the world, so you could find yourself virtually studying at the University of Adelaide in Australia or doing an MBA at the hallowed MIT in Boston.

There is a plethora of websites on the Internet where you can choose free online courses, such as EdX, Alison and FutureLearn, among others.

The world is your oyster!