There's growing interest free university, provided by tax payers, managed by government.
But we already have free university-level education options. You can take Harvard or MIT courses for free. You can learn pretty much anything online for nothing or close to it. Of course, we don't.
It's true, it's not going to be the same as going into the classroom. There's some advantage of having a professor explain things to you in person, rather than video. There's some advantage of having someone grade your assignment and giving you feedback. There's some advantage to hearing the questions of peers in class discussion.
My perspective is that there's also a major benefit of paying and having deadlines.
Pacing Thing is an attempt to narrow these gaps.
The learning materials are all available for free or close to it, including lectures.
But, the deadlines and companionship are missing if you just go it alone. That's what Pacing Thing is for.