Best Free Online Courses You Can Take This NZ Lockdown

Sep 13, 2021

We've compiled the best free online courses available in New Zealand for those who want to channel their worries and/or frustrations into something more productive, . It's just been announced that Auckland will stay in Level 4 lockdown, at least until midnight of 21 September. The rest of the country will stay in Level 2 until next Tuesday as well. Might as well use this free time to focus on things you can control. This can be building your career, or just working on things that really interest you. The great thing is, some of these online courses give certificates, too. You can then add this to your resume when you apply for a job. But certificates or not, simply learning more about things you love would be such a good indulgence during this time.

Ivy League Courses

For starters, the Ivy League is a collegiate conference of the top universities in the United States. These are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale Universities. Knowing how much one college degree can cost in these universities, their free online courses are easily some of the best you can find online.

Ivy League Courses offer over 1000+ free online courses, most of which offer certificates. Their courses can take up to as little as an hour to complete, with some taking up to a week or several weeks. Do note that you can only take the prescribed courses at a given time frame to ensure optimum learning. You can’t finish a course spanning several months all at once.

The best-rated ones are:

Open Polytechnic

If you want more localised study aids and courses, the NZ-based Open Polytechnic offers a range of free courses, perfect if you want to learn the basics of a degree or speciality that you want to pursue later on. These are short courses, focusing on business, horticulture and agriculture, foundation and bridging, and education.

Once you complete these courses, you can acquire New Zealand certifications. They offer different levels in their courses with varying degrees of certifications. On top of fees-free courses, they offer the government-initiated Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund in selected programmes.

The fees-free courses you can take are:

Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology

Another NZ-based institution that offers free courses is the Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology. They offer courses including agriculture, architecture, art, automotive, beekeeping or apiculture, business administration, carpentry and construction, computing and IT, creatives, culinary arts, tourism and travel, among many others. 

They offer one of the largest selections, if not the largest, of free courses with NZ certificates. Note that there may still be some miscellaneous expenses depending on the courses you study. These may be allocated for tools, study guides, or trips that are necessary to the study. Rest assured that the tuition fee is free of charge.

The courses offered by the Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology are the following. 

Eastern Institute of Technology

Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) offers an extensive range of free courses not only for certificates but also for diplomas and graduate programmes. As they’re an NZ-based institution, their courses are widely recognised by employers in the country. 

These courses are designed so that you can study along with your other commitments. Do note that EIT may offer their learning materials for free for a limited time only. Otherwise, you can complete your paid undergraduate, postgraduate, and master degree courses online too.

For their free courses and programmes, check this list.

Waikato Institute of Technology

Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) offers basic certification courses for all kinds of people living in NZ, including migrants and refugees. They offer English courses to make it easier for people whose first language isn’t English. This makes them a better prospect for jobs, both for local and international businesses.

Wintec also offers the Waikato Trade Academy (WTA), where students at secondary schools can continue to study while they work on finding a qualification for their prospective job. This programme is free and includes courses in subjects such as trades, service sector, primary industry, and social community services.

Oxford Home Study Centre

Oxford Home Study Centre offers free courses that are specialised to learn at the comfort of your home. They offer over 48 free courses in over 35 categories, including business management, customer service, fashion design, management, bookkeeping, interior design, balance sheet, cyber security, and more.

Their courses are perfect if you have a busy schedule because they don’t have deadlines or time limits. For those working from home but still want to learn more about a topic, this is a great resource for learning. As their certifications are recognised by most global employers, these free courses are excellent to improve your professional profile.

For the comprehensive list of their free courses, check the following:


TEDEd is one of the go-to free online learning websites because they offer interactive, informal yet educational courses. Their resources are excellent, not only for those who know the industry but also for beginners who want to learn something new. Students, educators, and parents use the website because of how fun their resources are.

Aside from videos and programmes, they also invite guest speakers and experts to share their first-hand tips and tricks in the field. They dabble on a wide variety of topics including psychology, philosophy, religion, design, and technology, among others. Plus, they produce short daily videos on their YouTube channel, so people from all over the world can learn something new every day. 

Their most answered videos on the platform include:


Coursera lists courses from top companies and universities from all over the world, including Google, IBM, Amazon Web Services, Autodesk, Gitlab, and more. With over 250 partners across 54 countries, they offer over 7,931 courses on a wide range of subjects including data science, health, and personal development.

Thanks to these networks of companies across 6 continents, their courses are written in major languages including English, Spanish, Russian, French, and Arabic. On top of this, you can choose a course, relative to your level — be it for a beginner, mixed intermediate, or advanced learners.

Some of the free short beginner courses that you can complete are:


edX is one of the pioneers when it comes to offering free online courses. They aim to provide high-quality education without having to pay astronomical fees or spending time and effort by attending universities and institutions. Their ultimate goal is to help with the shift from classrooms to online learning spaces for millions of people worldwide.

Since they started in 2012, they now have over 3000+ courses offered by 160 partners among 110 million enrollees. Some of their most prominent member universities include the University of California - Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The University of Texas System, Sorbonne University, Australian National University, The University of Adelaide, and The University of Queensland Australia, among others.

Check some of their free online courses, right here.


If you’re simply interested in learning a new, profitable skill, Udemy should be your go-to online learning resource. Their courses are simple yet extremely helpful in building your career. You can learn anything from basic online tools such as Audacity, Java, Photoshop, or Typescript, to other skills like yoga, football, trading, and creating a resume.

These basic courses are offered by reputable professionals and companies including Apple, Box, WordPress, Netflix, Eventbrite, and more. If ever you choose to pay for some of their courses, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee, in case you change your mind.

You can take the following courses on Udemy for free:

Get a reliable internet connection for seamless learning

Whatever skill, certification, tool, or life hack you want to learn online, make sure you have a stable internet connection. This way, you can study seamlessly, without having to deal with interruptions, lags, and inferences. 

If you’re no longer happy with your internet service provider, glimp can easily help you switch even during lockdown. We continue to work with the best broadband providers in NZ to help you find the right plan. Our team of customer support specialists will be more than happy to assist you every step of the way.

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