The FTA is a network of various universities and other organisations that jointly organise a course programme about Free Technology through a distance learning methodology in the FTA online campus. The FTA courses are hosted by the Free Knowledge Institute and are a complement to the existing master programmes of the FTA partners. After completing a course successfully, the learner can obtain an FTA certificate for that particular course. These certificates are recognised by the partner universities as is explained in this page.
The courses in the FTA build upon courses and course materials that have been in use for a long time. In fact, large part of the courses has been part of the UOC's Master Programme in Free Software since 2003. In the context of the FTA, these courses and course books have been updated and translated into English and adapted to meet the requirements of the various partners. The competences and learning outcomes for each course module have been defined in relation with the European eCompetence Framework and the ACM Computing Classification System.
The different parts of the FTA receive extensive quality reviews and quality procedures are built in by the Quality Assurance team. The quality assurance plan of the FTA can be downloaded here (PDF, 143 kB).
Since its foundation, the FTA Board had established a joint Scientific Council with recognised international specialists to oversee QA procedures in relation to: the curricula and learning materials, learner performance, tutors, learning facilities and outcomes assessment. Quality aspects are assessed and improved before, during and after the running of courses in the course programme.
The FTA offers a modular programme and for each of the individual course modules learners can obtain an FTA Certificate. The FTA certificate is only issued for those learners who complete successfully the necessary activities and assessments for a certain course.
The certificates are recognised by the participating universities and enable learners to extend their study options in the area of Free Technologies as a complement to the existing curriculum of the universities. It also means that learners can continue at the partner universities where they can get a waiver for the FTA courses.
Towards a complete Master Programme
The initial course programme of the FTA contained 8 course modules at master level of each 5 ECTS credits. In 2011, the Study Programme had already expanded to 14 courses. However, since a complete Master Programme comprises at least 60 ECTS (depending on country and institution), the FTA still seeks to expand its general programme, develop a full Master Programme in Free Software and expand the network of universities that recognise and make use of the FTA. Interested universities are invited to become partner in its Associate Network and participate in the task force for such joint curriculum.
Obtaining a full degree
For people who are registered as a student of one of the participating universities the FTA courses can be used to fill in or complement their curriculum. The universities recognise the credits obtained at the FTA as is explained below for each of the universities. These universities have specific recognition agreements: Open University Netherlands, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and University of Agder. The FTA always recommends to check with the universities what can be expected.
People who are not studying at one of the universities but consider the option of getting a full degree at some point in time might best start at the FTA and get their certificates at the FTA. And when desired, they can register for one of the Master or Bachelor programmes of the partner universities and get a waiver for those ECTS credits that are already completed at the FTA.
As each university has its own specific conditions, in this page we list the current partners and their particular compatibility with the FTA. It is very well possible that other universities also recognise the credits obtained at the FTA, but we cannot provide any guarantee for that.