Nice, nice place. Natural sciences only, no bullshit.
Not really dedicated to open source course material, nor to free courses...
The "Open" in its name only made sense in the 60's, when it was founded, nowadays, there isn't much about this institution that is very different compared to traditional Oxbridge. "Cheap more online university" would be a more adequate name for it.
A system that would truly live up to the name "Open" in the year 2020 is the one described at the ideal university by Ciro Santilli.
Wikipedia even says that the initial focus was on broadcasting learning material on television and radio, so what happened to that now that we have an even more powerful on-demand tool called Internet!
They even created their own MOOC website, FutureLearn. But mentions:
The course content is still free to access, but it’s only available for the duration of the course, and for two weeks after it ends.
OMG. God why.
A few open sources at: The 5-hour course on particle physics says it all. Stated as of 2023 at
The OU provides around 5% of its formal course materials as free open educational content every year on OpenLearn What's an Open University Degree Like? by Luke Cutforth (2021) mentions that it is more autodidactic/online, and it encourages part time learning. Open University - How does it work? by Matt Greg Vlogs (2017) shows that they do have their own custom institutional material. And it is not open???? Please. mentions that there is no entry exam, and you can change your courses at any time, that is good at least.
Israel apparently also created their own version in the 70's inspired by the British one: Open University of Israel. Same story it seems.
Video 1. Quantum Engineering Technology Labs presentation video (2022) Source.
Video 1. The Questioning City by British Pathé (1963) Source.
Figure 1. Source.
The courses are highly open, almost everything is given publicly except solutions, many of which are given to teachers only. Well done!
The porn version of Crushbridge, died in 2020.
The relatively large Sainsbury's located at 42-45 Sidney St, Cambridge CB2 3HX. Existed in late 2010's and early 2020's Ciro Santilli witnessed.
Being the only relatively large grocery shop in central Cambridge near several colleges, where manu students live, makes this one of the most popular grocery shopping location for many of the students.
The Oxford equivalent has to be the Tesco Express on Magdalen St, Oxford OX1 3AD, but not sure if there's a name for it.
Figure 1. Source.
Their only undergraduate courses that matter:
Things actually have gotten more and more closed, e.g. of stuff getting paywalled with time:It appears that things got really bad starting in 2017, possibly when WebLearn was introduced. When things migrated to Canvas, they were closed by default, apparently with any mechanism to publish publicly.
Therefore, they managed to make things more closed than when teachers would just upload to good old static websites!!
Ciro Santilli has also heard that some people in the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford opposed to moving away from their Moodle instance precisely because the new options did not support open publishing, so kudos to those people. But most teachers likely don't care and just do whatever is the best internally supported default.
Their "open" video material: A somewhat small part is Creative Commons, but most proprietary. Despite the name "podcasts", they do contain video, it is just a relic. contains actual Creative Commons only it seems.
It does however appear that professors own their lecture notes, so there some hope maybe:
Talks: Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) subset:
Video 1. University of Oxford documentary by the British Council (1941) Source.
Their status is a mess as of 2020s, with several systems ongoing. Long live the "original" collegiate university!
E-learning system of the University of Oxford. Closed by default to non-students of course. It might not be possible at all to publish things publicly?
WebLearn was closed in 2023 in favour of Canvas.
Has a mixture of open access and closed access. But at least it can have open access unlike the in-house systems such as Canvas where everything is necessarily paywalled!
Sometimes things appear open but don't show any meaningful content if you are not logged in, which is annoying.
But at least it gives a clear public course list, thing that certain departments (cough Department of Physics of the University of Oxford cough).
The organization is a bit crap, when you expand e.g. C Michaelmas term it shows nothing, just a search.
The way to go is via the year year categories e.g. "Year 2022-23": Term splitting is annoying, but one can stand it.
There seems to be no way to list all versions of a single course across multiple years besides just doing a search e.g.
This is apparently where past exam papers can be found. Paywalled of course.
This adds to the mess of having a different location for material per department. Presumably this exists because the central university authority wants to centralize examinations to have better control over degree requirements. If only they would also do the same for all materials and end the mess.
It is said that you leave Oxford with either
University of Cambridge students, CanTabBridgeans.
E.g.: Black with 5 rows, on left chest "colege name", logo, "Oxford", and right chest optional initials (or sometimes other identifiers/nicknames) to help distinguish from all the other people's identical clothes.
This has a whitelabel version:, the name appears to be "Holkham Down Feel Jacket".
Circa 2020, these are likely given out by each college for free, and are widely used.
If you look 20 and wear one of those, it's almost an ID, you can get anywhere that does not require a key card, porters won't look at you twice!
TODO confirm URL: ? An archive from 2005 when it was hottest:
TODO spiciest posts ever?
Student science magazine.
Each term has 8 weeks, and the week number is often used to denote the time at which something happens.
Week 0 is also often used to denote the week before classes officially start. This is especially important in the first term of the year (Michaelmas term) where people are coming back to school and meeting old and new friends.
At the end of the year, after Trinity term, students have exams. These basically account for all of the grades. In certain courses such as the Physics course of the University of Oxford, there is only new material on Michaelmas term and Hilary term, Trinity term being revision-only. So you can imagine that during Trinity term, students are going to be on edge.
Like the U.S.' fall term.
Like the U.S.' spring term.
Like the U.S.' summer term.
E-learning system prior to Canvas: Appears fully custom and closed source?
Closed in 2023 in favour of Canvas.
As of 2022:
  • gives study fees. Almost all courses are about 9k pounds / academic year. Courses take minimum 3 years, with an optional 4th year masters. The costs of masters can be higher however, though most aren't much.
    It is funny to note how Public Policy is comically priced at 45,890 for a course without laboratories, how can a country be so corrupt? :-) It was later brought to Ciro's attention that the reason is that those courses are not usually paid by individuals, but by their employers...
    Another eye popping one is Mathematical & Computational Finance MSc for £36,370.
  • gives living costs, an average 12k for the usual 9 month period
  • there is the Crankstart scholarship: which gives 5k/year to students whose families have less than 27k/year income, and values decrease from there to 60k/year income where they become zero.
    It is funny to note that the scholarship was previously named after a Welsh billionaire who studied there and donated and his wife, Michael Moritz and wife Harriet Heyman. It is actually the Welsh who are creating those scholarships for the English! It is so funny to see. His background is quite amazing, from historian to journalist to venture capitalist.
    It was later renamed Crankstart after the Crankstart Foundation, presumably to help gather funds from others, but it is just still led by Michael.
    It does appear that most/all of the natural sciences ones are reasonably priced, perhaps they are subsided.
The median household income at the time was 31k[ref]. Clearly, putting one child through university with that income would be basically impossible, you would pay 19 - 5 = 14k/year, almost half of your income. Two children would be impossible. Remember how each family needs to have two children minimum to perpetuate life?
This book series appears to be the one: A mere 250 pounds+ each.
Video 1. History of Oxford University by Chris Day (2018) Source. A large part of the video talks about how the insane system of colleges of the University of Oxford came about organically.
  • at the University of Bologna, the original system was for students to decide what they would learn, and hire and fire teachers as they decided. This is opposed to the system of the university of Paris, in which teachers make the final decisions. He mentions that this is the system that the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge use: the "congregation". He mentions that Oxbridge are one of the few universities that maintained this structure (as opposed to having funding sources select the final decision makers)
  • mentions the quadrangle architecture which served as the basis of the Colleges: make a closed square with everything students need: Chapel, Hall to eat, classes and accommodation. This is based of course on monastic cloisters.
A good explanation of how this insane system came up is given at Video "History of Oxford University by Chris Day (2018)".
As if it weren't enough, there are also the 6 Halls: permanent private hall.
The colleges are controlled by its fellows, a small self-electing body of highly successful scholars, usually in the dozens per college number it seems. Each college also usually has different types of fellows, e.g. see he university college page: (archive)
The college system does has its merits though, as it instates a certain sense of Hogwarts "belonging" to a certain group, so it might help students get better support for their learning projects from older students, or through the tutoring system. Of course, all such "belonging" feelings are bad, the correct thing would be to make great online tutorials for all, and answer questions in the open. But oh well, humans are dumb.
The college you are in impacts the quality of your courses, because tutorials are per-college. As of 2023, Ciro Santilli spoke to some students of the Computer science course of the University of Oxford, and was told that in some cases where you don't have anyone who can give the tutorial, you instead get a "class", i.e. a P.h.D. student going through question sheets with no interaction in the C.S. department, rather than a deep interactive discussion over the college fire. How can this system be so broken, it is beyond belief
This functionality is somewhat related to fraternities and sororities in 2000's United States.
Similar to a college, but led by religious denomination leaders rather than fellows.
For students (who are paying for the university to start with...), they will not claim tutorials linked to courses. But a tutorial that shows university laboratories, it is unclear: (archive) This likely includes graduate students, who are also not paid by the university.
For faculty, the university owns everything it seems, to be confirmed.
The course outline is given in a "handbook", a one or more PDF files that contain what people will learn and other practicalities. There is a full list of handbooks at:, but many of them are closed. The system is so closed that even the fucking course list is closed, e.g. all links at: are closed. Insane.
At there's a paywall, but Google found the PDF it anyways. in theory links to all handbooks, but some are likely paywalled. But Google can generally find them anyways.
Course lists: True to form, courses appear to have identifiers, e.g. qi for the Quantum Information course of the University of Oxford rather than more arbitrary A1/A2/A3, B1/B2/B3, naming convention used by the Mathematics course of the University of Oxford and the Physics course of the University of Oxford, and URLs can either have years or not:
The "course materials" section of each course leads to which is paywalled by IP (accessible via Eduroam): TODO which system does it use? Some courses place their materials directly on "", and when that is the case they are publicly accessible. So it is very much hit and miss. E.g. from Quantum Processes and Computation course of the University of Oxford has the assignments such as publicly visible, but e.g. has nothing.
A mixed cross department course with the philosophy department. Its corresponding masters is known as Oxford MCompSciPhil. The handbook is together with the computer science one: Section "Computer science course of the University of Oxford".
A mixed cross department course with the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford.. Its corresponding masters is known as Oxford MMathCompSci. The handbook is together with the computer science one: Section "Computer science course of the University of Oxford".
Video 1. Mathematics and Computer Science at Oxford University by University of Oxford (2017) Source.
2023: Jonathan Barrett
This section is about the version of the course offerece on Hilary term 2023 (January).
It is the norm induced by the complex dot product over :
2022 lecturer: Aleks Kissinger
The course would be better named ZX-calculus as it appears to be the only subject covered.
2022 page: Half of the problems are Jupyter Notebooks, not bad.
The Oxford mathematics Moodle has detailed course listsing, though much of the actual PDFs are paywalled.
Lecturer: Luc Nguyen