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Friday, May 25, 2012

3 Best Websites To Get A University Level Education For Free

free online universityThe idea that you are never done learning has never been more true than today. The Internet has revolutionized the way we access information and knowledge – formerly a luxury accessible only to the rich and highly gifted – which is now freely available to anyone with Internet access.

Education and learning should be a lifelong process and the Internet is your chance to get a university level education for free, regardless of where you are in life. This article introduces you to the three best websites to get started.

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is probably the most famous educational website out there. It was started in 2006 with the mission to provide “a high quality education to anyone, anywhere.” Meanwhile, the site provides over 3,000 videos on subjects from science to humanities, which have been delivered to millions of people. More than just videos, the site also offers short exercises to help students practice the knowledge they have acquired by watching the video material – all of it for free.


Online education is spreading and the traditional institutions are taking note. Coursera has partnered with top US universities to provide some of their courses for free. The site offers lectures on computer science, healthcare, social sciences, and economics from universities like Princeton, Stanford or Berkeley.

Like the Khan Academy, they offer interactive exercises. Moreover, Coursera promises that you will join a global network of thousands of students, who you can depend on for feedback and support. Coursera takes you through full courses, which follow a schedule, meaning you have to sign up for them in advance.

If you enjoy Coursera and the Khan Academy, you may also enjoy one of these 6 Really Good Sites with FREE Video Lectures from Top US Colleges or 5 Great Sites with Free Video Lectures from Top Colleges.

Academic Earth

Similar to the Khan Academy, Academic Earth’s vision is to offer “a world-class education for everyone on earth“. The site offers free online classes and in-depth online learning through video lectures from university professors. Interestingly, Academic Earth has partnered with the same universities as Coursera and many more. In addition to Princeton, Stanford, and Berkeley, you will find video lectures from UCLA, Harvard, and Yale. Moreover, Academic Earth has partnered with the Khan Academy.

free online university

What makes Academic Earth unique is that you can sign up to earn an actual online degree. While this isn’t necessarily free (no definite information is available), it may at least be accessible to you regardless of where you live.

If you still haven’t learned enough, we have written about 8 MORE Knowledge Websites With Free Online Video Lectures, as well as 12 Great Free Video Tutorial Sites To Brush Up Your Tech Skills, and 5 Websites To Watch Educational Videos That Will Expand Your Mind. Would you like to take classes on your iPad, iPhone or iPod? Check out iTunes U, which we have recently reviewed here: Taking Free Classes & Courses At iTunes U.

Fans of YouTube, check out these articles:

How do you maintain lifelong learning? Are there any great resources we have missed so far?

Image credits: Education via Shutterstock

Tina Sieber

Tina is a freelance writer, editor, natural scientist, and cosmopolitan with a strong interest in sustainability. She has been writing for MakeUseOf since late 2007 and also is the Editor for MakeUseOf Answers.