Arthur Mabentsela UCT lecturer

Over 500 free courses offered by the world’s top universities

Free higher education is available online.

Arthur Mabentsela UCT lecturer

While South Africa has taken a small step towards making free higher education available across the board, many of the world’s top universities are offering some of their courses for free and enrolling is as easy as a click of the mouse.

FreeCodeAmp published a list of over 200 international universities offering free online courses in different fields such as Computer Science, Programming, Data Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Education & Teaching, Health & Medicine and more.

These universities include prestigious names such as Harvard, Stanford University, Yale and the University of London. Close to home, Wits also features in the list as they, under Social Sciences offer a course in Theory of Change for Development

while UCT and the University of Pretoria offer various Humanities courses.

There’s over 500 of these courses across the different universities so we’ve compiled a list of a select few. For the full list, click here.

Computer Science

  • Algorithms: Design and Analysis –Stanford University
  • Machine Learning – Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Hacking and Patching  – University of Colorado System
  • Linux Server Management and Security – University of Colorado System
  • TV Whitespaces for Museums and Archives – San Jose State University


  • Calculus Applied – Harvard University
  • Differential Equations: 2×2 Systems – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Introduction to Probability: Part 1 — The Fundamentals – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Number Theory and Cryptography – University of California, San Diego
  • Introduction to Graph Theory – University of California, San Diego


  • JavaScript, jQuery, and JSON –University of Michigan
  • Building Web Applications in PHP – University of Michigan
  • Programming Fundamentals – Duke University
  • Server-side Development with NodeJS, Express and MongoDB The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Object-Oriented Design University of Alberta
  • Design Patternsfrom University of Alberta
  • Database Systems Concepts and Design Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Advanced MATLAB for Scientific Computing Stanford University
  • Introduction to Virtual Reality University of London International Programmes
  • Building Interactive 3D Characters and Social VR University of London International Programmes
  • 3D Interaction Design in Virtual Reality University of London International Programmes
  • 3D Models for Virtual Reality University of London International Programmes
  • Making Your First Virtual Reality Game University of London International Programmes
  • Game Design and Development: Video Game Character Design Abertay University

Data Sciences

  • Principles, Statistical and Computational Tools for Reproducible Science Harvard University
  • Data Science: R Basics Harvard University
  • Big Data Analytics in Healthcare Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Statistical Modeling and Regression Analysis Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Data Analytics Foundations for Accountancy University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Introduction to Genomic Data Science University of California, San Diego


  • Masterpieces of World Literature: The Ancient World Harvard University
  • Masterpieces of World Literature: Fictions of the Modern World Harvard University
  • China Humanities: The Individual in Chinese Culture Harvard University
  • Sports and the University Stanford University
  • Supporting English Learners: Resources for Leaders Stanford University
  • Wonders of Ancient Egypt University of Pennsylvania
  • Faith and Finance Boston University
  • Philosophy, Science and Religion: Philosophy and Religion University of Edinburgh
  • Writing your World: Finding yourself in the academic space – University of Cape Town
  • The Art and Science of Coaching – University of Pretoria

Social Sciences

  • Essentials of Program Strategy and Evaluationfrom Stanford University
  • The Threat of Nuclear Terrorism Stanford University
  • Theory of Change for Development  University of the Witwatersrand

Education and teaching

  • Integrating Language Development and Content Learning in Math: Focus on Reasoning – Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • Constructive Classroom Conversations: Improving Student-to-Student Interactions – Stanford Graduate School of Education

Health and medicine

  • Interprofessional Education for 21st Century Care – Stanford University
  • The Oral Cavity: Portal to Health and Disease – University of Pennsylvania