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Free Technology Academy

Building Free Technology Master Programmes Together

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Together with a group of universities, public and private organisations, the Free Knowledge Institute is working on the set up of a common framework for building master programmes on Free Technology. A call for participation can be found here, while ongoing progress is taking place at the FTA Campus Wiki - Master-Curriculum section. Active participants have submitted a proposal to the Lifelong Learning Programme, which is summarised below.

Project abstract "Free Technology Master" (FTM)

The emergence of Free Software (FS) and Open Standards is drastically changing the economics of software development and usage. In contrast to proprietary software, FS – also referred to as “Libre” or “Open Source” software – can be used, copied, studied, modified and redistributed freely. Two of the factors that hold back the massive adoption of these Free Technologies (FT) are the lack of skilled specialists and recognised certification.

The Free Technology Master (FTM) aims to tackle this problem by setting up an international framework for master programmes on FT with recognised certificates and multiple degrees. With this purpose the virtual campus, educational methodology and modules of the Free Technology Academy (FTA) will be used to build a common curriculum shared by several universities and research centres. This framework will include distance, blended and on-site modules that can take from one week to a full semester. It will especially target ICT students, professionals, educators and decision makers.

The FTM will provide five main results: 1) a common framework for master programmes in FT; 2) accredited master programmes in FT in various EU member states; 3)open/free educational materials (OER) for each module; 4) recognised certificates for individual modules and bilateral agreements on double and multiple degrees; and 5) a network of educational institutions, companies and civil society organisations to encourage cooperation and connect to market needs.

Building upon the FTA will enable partners to 1) kick-start the programme with reduced effort and lead time; 2) reach a critical mass of learners; and 3) promote mobility of both learners and teachers. Moreover, the project will take the production of OER one step further by applying open development processes, which will reduce development time and help maintain and translate course materials. This combination of factors will assure the sustainability of the FTM beyond the EC funding period.

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