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Is there an analogue to the Open University in Italy? By that, I mean a respected public distance-learning university with few/no access barriers. Another institution of this type would be the "FernUniversität in Hagen", in Germany.

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    I would expect that if there is one, then there is a unique one. So I don't think this is a shopping question.
    – Arno
    Aug 29 at 12:38
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    Note that both OU and FernUniversität accept students from throughout Europe (and elsewhere). Language is an issue, of course. And the personal touch that both provide isn't available everywhere (local tutors).
    – Buffy
    Aug 29 at 12:58
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There are several distance-based universities in Italy, but not a public or free (as in beer) one, as far as I know; you find a list on https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universit%C3%A0_telematica for instance.

Note that universities (online or not) are not usually free in Italy, though you can apply for tax reductions, full waivers or scholarships based on merit or low income; most prominently, all public universities are free if your family has an income less than 20k€/year.

Some public universities offer MOOCs; for instance the Federico II university of Naples, https://www.federica.eu/en/all-moocs/ or the Politecnico of Milan https://www.pok.polimi.it/ . Even more universities put some recorded lectures online freely accessible to everyone; for instance the one I work for, the university of Pisa, https://mediateca.unipi.it/ .

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