best youtube channels
YouTube is among the platforms offering free learning resources for students. Source: Robyn Beck/AFP

While there are some who are fortunate to attend  Ivy League universities, there are others who can’t. Ivy Leagues refer to private universities in the US such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, known for their elite and prestigious reputation — and astronomical fees.

The average undergraduate tuition fees at Ivy League schools can go up to US$57,509 compared to other unis which cost US$26,290 on average.

The good news is you don’t have to spend a single cent to learn from their professors. The best YouTube channels have videos where you can get great insight from the top minds from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford and Columbia University. And it’s all for free.

The best YouTube channels to learn for free

Tim Roughgarden Lectures 

Head of Research at a16zcrypto and a Computer Science professor at Columbia University, Tim Roughgarden started his Youtube channel – Tim Roughgarden Lectures — in 2013. Here, he offers videos breaking down the fundamentals of blockchain, computer science and algorithms. Over the years, the channel has attracted over 20,000 subscribers. 

You can also find videos of his public lectures as well as research talks here. Got questions? Feel free to follow Tim Roughgarden on Twitter


Edureka! is an interactive e-learning platform that offers industry-led courses with the aim of making learning accessible to everyone. If you head to their website, you are required to pay to watch the live classes, but they’ve also uploaded similar high-quality videos on their YouTube channel that are completely free of charge. 

The channel has 3.56 million subscribers These videos include webinars, sample classes and lectures from industry practitioners and influencers. You can pick up knowledge on trending topics of Big Data, DevOps, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Python, Digital Marketing, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Architect and many more. 

Huberman Lab 

The Huberman Lab was started by Andrew D. Huberman who is an associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. His YouTube channel has 1.56 million subscribers and most of his videos are his podcast episodes. 

As an expert in neuroscience, Huberman covers topics related to our brain and its connections along with how the organs of our body controls our perceptions, behaviours and our health.

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is offering the general public access to the full MIT curriculum, ranging from introductory to the most advanced graduate courses. 

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is an open publication of educational material from thousands of MIT courses at zero cost. Each course includes a syllabus, notes and reading lists as well as assignments and solutions. 

Their YouTube channel has videos on topics ranging from mathematics to computer science to the humanities and social sciences. They also have an interesting playlist titled “Behind The Teaching” which features how MIT lecturers conduct their classes. 

Both the website and their YouTube channel don’t require any enrollment. Kickstart your self-paced learning today.


“Lessons worth sharing” – that is TED-Ed’s philosophy. They are among the most popular YouTube channels for those hungry for knowledge with 17.7 million subscribers and growing. Picture videos on topics such as “the infinite hotel paradox,” “the floaty things in your eyes” and “the language of lying” — not only are these captivating topics, they are explained with interactive visuals and simple language too.

That’s not all. The channel features both short and long-form videos on almost every topic imaginable making it a one-size-fits-all resource.

The most popular video “Questions No One Knows the Answers to” has over 27 million viewers thus far, followed by “Can you solve the prisoner hat riddle? – Alex Gendler” (25 million views) and “What is depression?” (23 million views).

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell has 19.5 million subscribers and a whopping two million views on their Youtube channel. Founded in Germany, it was started by a team of illustrators, animators and number crunchers who aim to spark curiosity about science and the world we live in through storytelling. 

You can learn about science, psychology, humanities, understanding human emotions and even futurism. 

The channel is available in other languages such as French, Arabic, Japanese and Korean.

Check out this Twitter thread for more suggestions: