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The universities of Oxford and Cambridge are to make lectures by well-known academics available through Apple's iTunes.

Oxford will publish 150 hours of free video and audio podcasts of lectures and ideas from what it described as "world-leading thinkers".

Academic types can now get their hands on education downloads that include a film about the University of Oxford's fundraising campaign "Oxford Thinking", featuring ex-Python and seasoned traveller Michael Palin.

Oxford lecture and interview highlights include the former Chief Economist of the World Bank Professor Joseph Stiglitz speaking about the global financial crisis, Dr Craig Venter on genomics, Sir Nicholas Stern on the economics of climate change, and Professor Julian Savulescu on ethics.

"We hope that this service will make Oxford’s diverse range of audio and video material more widely accessible to applicants, alumni, supporters of the University, and the intellectually curious," said Dr John Hood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Meanwhile the University of Cambridge, which prefers the tag "world-leading experts" for the range of material it's offering through iTunes, is making more than 300 podcasts available for free download.

Celebrity historian Dr David Starkey features in a podcast about the history of the university, Cambridge said. Other highlights include interviews with some of Cambridge's Nobel prize winners and an exploration of the university's codebreaking efforts during World War II.

More from Oxford here, Cambridge here and iTunes here. ®

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