Massey University is poised to become the first New Zealand university to teach people online for free.
Massey will start putting massive open online courses (MOOCs) on an Australian website, Open2study, before the end of the year, and expects enrolments from around the world.
The courses are free and students get a certificate if they score high enough in multi-choice tests.
Massey says the courses will encourage people to enrol in its extra-mural and face-to-face programmes.
But Michael Peters of University of Waikato said it will be hard for New Zealand courses to compete with those offered by famous overseas universities.