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You are here: Home FSF News Fostering free software education: Free Technology Academy and Free Software Foundation partner to expand access to master's program in free software and free standards

Fostering free software education: Free Technology Academy and Free Software Foundation partner to expand access to master's program in free software and free standards

by Peter Brown Contributions Published on Oct 26, 2010 11:11 AM
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands -- Tuesday, October 26, 2010 -- The Free Technology Academy (FTA) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced today their partnership in the FTA's Associate Partner Network. The Network aims to expand the availability of professional educational courses and materials covering the concepts and applications of free software and free standards.

The FTA consists of an advanced virtual campus with course modules which can be followed entirely on-line. The learning materials are all published under a free license and can be accessed by anyone, but learners enrolled in the FTA will be guided by professional teaching staff from one of the three participating universities. The FTA aims to enable IT professionals, students, teachers and decision makers to undertake accredited professional education modules in free software studies.

One of the FTA objectives is to establish a strong relationship with the free software community and to turn the FTA course materials into an essential reference. The FTA seeks to educate and promote the adoption of free technologies without losing sight of the free software community's core purpose of freedom and social transformation.

Wouter Tebbens, president of the Free Knowledge Institute and director of the FTA, explains: "We are building this master's programme on free software with the support from relevant organisations and community members. And in this sense it is an honour for us to have the support of Richard Stallman and the FSF. We hope to be of use to the community and we invite the community to participate in our courses and review our materials."

Richard Stallman, leader of the free software movement and president of the Free Software Foundation, said, "The FTA course materials teach people to use GNU/Linux; more than that, it teaches them to recognize why this is important."

Details of the Partnership:

  • The FSF will provide special video guest lectures in FTA courses.
  • The FSF will encourage volunteers to collaborate in the maintenance of existing materials and the production of new courses.
  • The FTA will provide the FSF Associate Membership (http://www.fsf.org/associate/) with 30 discount vouchers for FTA courses each trimester.

Enrollment for 2011 courses is now open, and students can register at https://ftacademy.org/registration-form.

About the Free Technology Academy

A Consortium formed by the Open University of Catalonia (Spain), the Open University of the Netherlands and the University of Agder (Norway) and led by the Free Knowledge Institute (FKI), the FTA has started up - with support from the EC's Lifelong Learning Programme - an international educational programme on Free Software. The courses are taught completely online in a virtual campus based on the Campus Project interoperability framework.

Following the Free Software and Open Educational Resources movements, all learning materials are freely available through the Internet. The use of Free Software (also referred to as Open Source software or Libre Software) is rapidly expanding in governmental and private organisations. However, still only a limited number of ICT professionals, teachers and decision makers have sufficient knowledge and expertise in these new fields. The Free Technology Academy aims to address this gap by providing high level courses that fit into larger Master Programmes at the participating universities.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux.

Media Contacts

Peter Brown
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
peterb@fsf.org

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