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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the world's most respected technology institutes, is to offer courses on the Internet for free to people from around the globe.

The first group of courses will be published online on 30 September, and will include anthropology, biology, chemistry and computer science. Over the next 10 years, MIT plans to move all its existing coursework onto the Internet.

It hopes that this will encourage other universities to follow suit and also make their learning materials freely available on the web.

Link to BBC Online feature article