Our course modules do not constitute a full Master's Degree yet, although it is our aim to offer a full degree soon. However, all FTA courses are recognised by the partner universities: at this moment the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Open Universiteit Nederlands (OU) and University of Agder (UIA). This means that ECTS credits obtained at FTA courses count towards a degree at one of the partner universities.
In order to realise the plans to offer a complete Master Degree, the Taskforce International Master Programme in Free Software has been set up.
There are no specific requirements for participation in the FTA programme, but if you are interested in obtaining a degree at one of the university partners, their particular entrance requirements apply. Recommendations as to the background knowledge for each course are described in the relevant subsection of the course. See the course section.
All FTA course materials, software and other digital resources are free as in freedom and as in beer, i.e. they provide the Four Freedoms and are published openly online, so you can download them and use them for any purpose. Nevertheless, professional staff involved in the Academy needs to get paid and as a consequence, we have to charge for the courses. That means that if you want to follow a course or several ones, you'll need to pay a tuition fee to the FTA.
Tuition fees are given per module. Current fees can be found in the course programme section.
Currently the only form of scholarships directly made available by the FTA is in the form of discounts. As you can see in the course programme section early registrations can be entitled to certain discounts. We will evaluate these discounts in the course of the programme and see whether other forms of scholarship can be made available. Also we encourage you to inform us of existing scholarship arrangements that might be applicable for the FTA courses. If you know of anything that might be useful to others, let us know so we can share it!
The short answer is: no.
The longer answer: the evaluation of FTA students is done continuously during the whole course. There are a number of assignments for which students receive marks. Depending on the course these activities may consist on answering questions, writing a short essay or completing and documenting a practical task. Also, the overall participation in the class, via forums and other communication tools, is evaluated by tutors along with these assignments.
The FTA site uses SSL in all pages that are meant to transfer personal information, like login pages and registration forms. The AES-256 bit certificate that the FTA uses is issued by CAcert:
CAcert.org is a web of trust sponsored and supported by many organisations like NLNet and the Open Architecture Network. Their goal is to make secure connections and encryption accessible and affordable for everyone using an open infrastructure.
Unfortunately, major browsers like Firefox still don't include CAcert's root certificates by default. That's the reason why you are asked to manually accept the certificate by your browser. The concrete steps vary from one browser to another, but they're usually similar. These are the instructions to import CACert's root certificate in Firefox 3.x:
If you follow these steps, your browser will accept any certificates issued by CACert. This is the recommended option, since it will save you from repeating this process for other FTA sites
Alternatively you can accept only the certificate we use at the FTA website:
If you still have problems accessing the registration form, please send us a message using the contact form.
Yes, you are actually encouraged to do so! All materials and software used at the FTA are published under free licenses. These licenses provide all users the right to 1) use them for any purpose, 2) study and adapt them to their needs, 3) to copy and share them and 4) to distribute modified versions. If you do so, it would be nice if you would let us know. We are happy to know and discuss further development in a bigger group of interested parties. The materials are available to read, improve and remix in the SELF Platform.
Help is very much appreciated. A starting point is to spread the word and communicate about the Academy. You can find various materials in the Press Room. Communicate through the free and distributed microblogging network of identi.ca, through the FTA group. If you have any specific suggestions for improvement of the campus, of certain course materials or otherwise, use the contact form at the website.
As the FTA is a distance education programme, physical presence is not needed. Everything is designed to make sure you can participate from any place with an internet connection. So you are welcome to enroll in the programme! That said, if you know of a local university that might be an interesting partner of the FTA, please suggest it to us and we can explore the options.
FTA is a Free and Open project, so we will be glad to hear your suggestion and ideas for new modules and courses. As a collective body, we are always seeking for new collaborators and partner organisations to enlarge the FTA Network. Please contact us and give us your feedback.