It gets better. Past years’ seminars, back to 2009-2010, are listed and archived on the site, letting you learn from international experts on a wide range of topics. What’s more, the “Lectures” page lists two other upcoming talks, and includes an archive of other speakers’ presentations (see sidebar: “UNE Highlights”).
If you want something more structured, or more like an actual college class, check out these free options from leading institutions around the world.
Introduction to Computer Science three-course package (Programming Methodology, Programming Abstractions, Programming Paradigms) | Stanford University | see.stanford.edu/see/courses.aspx
Skynet University: astronomy classes, including remote control of telescopes for observations | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | skynet.unc.edu/introastro
“Edible Education: Telling Stories About Food and Agriculture,” taught by Michael Pollan | University of California–Berkeley | webcast.ucberkeley.edu
“Global Warming Science,” an overview of the processes by which the climate changes, as well as its effects | Massachusetts Institute of Technology | ocw.mit.edu
“Sets, Counting, and Probability,” a look at the math behind card games, sports, and election results | Harvard University | extension.harvard.edu/open-learning-initiative
“Doing Business in Latin America,” a business and economics class | University of California–Los Angeles | uclaextension.edu
“The American Novel Since 1945,” a literature class | Yale University | oyc.yale.edu
“Logic and Proofs,” a course with a rationally self-explanatory title | Carnegie Mellon University | oli.cmu.edu
There are, obviously, many more options — foreign-language classes, advanced scientific topics, and much more. Explore — the world is yours for the learning.
Particularly notable or interesting talks in the online archive
From the 2012-13 series
“The Trouble with Malaria in Africa,” by James Webb Jr., author of Humanity’s Burden: A Global History of Malaria (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
“On the Brink of the Grave: Early Stories of Blood Transfusion,” by Ann Kibbie, with readings from an account of medical procedures from 1896, and from Bram Stoker’s 1897 thriller Dracula.
From the 2011-12 series
“What’s Happening in Yemen?” by Daniel M. Varisco, with readings from Tim Mackintosh-Smith’s Yemen: The Unknown Arabia (Overlook, 2001).
“Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788,” by Pauline Maier, author of the book by the same name as the lecture, published by Simon and Schuster, 2010.
From the 2010-11 series
“The President, Democracy, and Permanent War,” by Dana Nelson, author of Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People (University of Minnesota Press, 2008).
“Desperate for Some Kindness: A History of Asking for Help in Hard Times,” by Elizabeth De Wolfe, with readings from Horatio Alger and Mary Marshall Dyer.
From the 2009-10 series
“The Russian Soul in the Twenty-First Century,” by George Young, with reading from James Billington’s Russia in Search of Itself (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2004).
“You Are What You Read,” by Reuben Bell, with reading from Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (HarperCollins, 2007).
From past lectures
“Does America (Still) Need Unions,” by Robert Zieger.
“Lessons from the Emerald Isle: The Implications of Mass Tourism,” by Eric Zuelow.