Our Sources

In curating this list of online courses, we’ve scoped out the education landscape around the globe in order to gather only the most reputable courses available. Our sources include universities from all over the globe, including Finland, Spain, and Turkey.

You’ll find courses from universities in the UK, including The Open University, which was founded in 1971 and has been a pioneer in distance learning. Explore this university’s vast selection of courses in the arts, history, finance, science, math, and more than eight languages.

Our sources also include top universities in Spain, which has been a leader in Europe in promoting online education. Explore courses from top universities in Madrid, Barcelona, and Salamanca. We’ve even found Spanish universities that provide courses in both English and Spanish, allowing you to study advanced content while also practicing your Spanish.

Online education in the Middle East is still in its beginning stages, but is expected to grow quickly. The demand for online courses in both Arabic and English is increasing, given the rising number of people, particulary women, who are gaining access to higher education. Despite the limited offer of online courses in this region, you’ll find coursework from three universities in Saudi Arabia and Israel.

In order to provide a truly global perspective, we’ve also explored the state of online education in the East, where Taiwan and Japan are far ahead of other Asian countries in terms of the number of universities offering online content. Explore a list of quality courses from 17 universities in Taiwan and 18 in Japan. You’ll even find seven schools that provide academic content in Japanese and two that offer content in both Japanese and English.

Online education in South America is being led by Columbia and Brazil. Columbia’s menu of online courses includes academic content from four reputable universities, while Brazil has three universities offering online courses. These figures are expected to grow in Brazil, as the number of students at the university level continues to increase. You’ll also find quality coursework from the South American countries of Chile, Ecuador, and Peru.

In North America, the United States is the clear leader in online education. We’ve compiled a list of courses from world-renowned universities, such as the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Tufts University, and the University of Notre Dame. Every year top U.S. universities add to the ever-growing selection of free online courses, and some are even beginning to offer certificates of completion, which you can use to demonstrate your dedication to learning.

The schools we’ve chosen from around the world are high-quality research universities that offer content from their for-credit courses free of charge. By researching primary sources, we seek to provide the most reliable directory of online courses from around the globe. Use this resource to see how top universities around the world are approaching online education and increasing access for all who are interested in learning.

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