Open U of Catalonia Master of Free Software

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jackrussell, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. jackrussell

    jackrussell Member

  2. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    Had not seen it before, but looks very interesting. The site mentions that the course materials are available via their OpenCourseware site, which is here. It looks like some of the courses in the program have been taught since 2003 at least, so it shouldn't be too hard to track down a graduate of the program.

    The course content seems to be available in English, Spanish, and Catalan, but I am not sure what language you would be expected to use for assignments and the like. It's a neat find, thanks for sharing!
  3. jackrussell

    jackrussell Member

    I have contacted them for the English course. They had been very friendly and helpful. This Masters consist of a total of 60 credit at 74 Euro per credit. Very interested in it as such Masters aren't readily found in my side of the world. What I like best is there is a small thesis of 15 credits at the end of the course. But my main worries are, is the Masters recognized or accreditated?

  4. Malajac

    Malajac Member

    Keep in mind these are ECTS credits, roughly 2 ECTS per semester hour credit. Still. not very expensive if accredited.

    Seems they are legit:

    Universitat Oberta de Catalunya is also listed on the UNESCO list.

    There is also some additional info here:

    As a side note, ever since visiting Barcelona back in 1998 I find the Catalan language to be very sexy. :D Also the reaffirmation of the Catalan national identity is a very interesting topic (especially for the Spaniards I believe, given some of the more controversial policies and measures used by the Generalitat). Both Catalans in Spain and the Occitans in southern France seem not to have fared so well in the consolidation of modern European Spain and France (in terms of linguistic identity at least), and it is very interesting to watch this "reawakening".
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2009
  5. Malajac

    Malajac Member

  6. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    A $6500 masters degree in a technical discipline. Pretty freaking sweet.
  7. friedrich

    friedrich New Member

    Most of the material seems to be in spanish - which may or may not be Your cup of coffee.
  8. mintaru

    mintaru Member

    Two types of master's degrees at UOC?

    Why is this program called Official Master Programme in Free Software?

    I tried to find an answer at the website of UOC's International Graduate Institute but I did not find it. However there are some indications that there are at least two types of master's degrees at UOC and likely also at other Spanish universities. Here, for instance:

    In turn, there are the official or university master’s degrees in Education and ICT, Health and Safety, Free Software, and the Information and Knowledge Society which began last year. New for this year is the recently approved university master’s degree in Teacher Training, to be offered in conjunction with Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), and the master’s degree in Political Analysis, which is to begin in the academic year 2010-2011.

    So it seems that there are so called official master’s degrees and university master’s degrees - but I really don't understand what the difference is. Has anyone any idea?

  9. jackrussell

    jackrussell Member

    From what I had read, Europe seems to have two types of Masters, one taking up 60 ECTS, the other is double the load at 120 ECTS. Maybe that's the difference? Anyway both seems to be Masters.....

  10. mintaru

    mintaru Member

    Yes, both are Masters. I never did doubt that.

    I just want to know why there is such a distinction. The workload is not the difference, all Master's degrees at UOC's International Graduate Institute taking up 60 ECTS. ?:(?

  11. Malajac

    Malajac Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2009
  12. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    This degree seems to be ideal for those working in environments where free software and/or open source software is primarily deployed. It would be interesting to know whether universities in Canada and the United States of America accept such a degree at the graduate level in preparation for doctoral studies.
  13. Malajac

    Malajac Member

  14. mintaru

    mintaru Member

    Thanks Malajac, but I knew that FAQ and it doesn't really help. Yes, it says something about the different usability of the two degrees:

    What’s the difference between an official master degree and the UOC’s other master?
    Official masters are automatically recognised throughout the European Union, whereas the other master's degrees are subject to a credit evaluation process for recognition.

    But that does not answer the question why one master's degree is an official master's degree and another one is "only" an university master's degree. Why that distinction??
  15. Malajac

    Malajac Member

    Hm, I guess we would have to analyze the accreditation process for universities and programs in Spain and more specifically Catalonia.

    Dr Megias hints at one of the possible differences at 2:18, saying that the majority of lecturers are doctors as is required by the legislation for official post-graduate programs.

    The implementation of the Bologna process might still be still underway, so I thought they might be trying to indicate which programs have been adapted (Official) vs those which have not (university). But this doesn't seems to be the reason:

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2009
  16. Farina

    Farina New Member

  17. mintaru

    mintaru Member

    Thanks Farina, that answers my question. :)
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems approval by the Spanish Ministry of Education is roughly comparable to programatic accreditation in other countries.
  18. Farina

    Farina New Member

    Basically yes . .and a little no. Yes, in the fact that the Spanish Ministry of Education is the governing body of education down to the university and either further to down to the degree program. What is interesting about the "Official Masters" and the "University Masters" is that the degree program for the official version has the stamp of approval from the Spanish Ministry of Education, the University Masters program does not, but the Universities that grant University Masters are 99% approved degree granting institutions by the Spanish Ministry of Education.

    I don't think we have that case in the US. To my knowledge RA universities do not offer a program that has not been approved by their Regional Accrediating agency. I know of degrees that are offered by RA agencies but are not approved by their professional organizations(ex. Psychology programs that are not APA approved), but not the former situation.

    Also, remember that Spain belongs to the European Union. In regards to degree programs, the Bologna Process is proclaimed to help in this regards. The countries that belong to the EU are/have been working on arranging a system so that students who study across the EU don't have as many issues with the portability of their degrees in different countries.

    Spain is different than other universities in Europe in that the Spanish Ministry of Education has had a gripping control of the degrees offered, including the classes that are supposed to be included in the degree program, and all universities have to follow whatever degree model has been approved. Spain follows the model of a "National Degree" . That means that if the MA in Science degree is approved by the Spanish Ministry, then all Universities who choose to offer that degree have to keep the same name AND the same courses. There is a list of "Approved National Degrees" that universities can choose from. However, with the Bologna Process this vice grip has been forced to loosen up. It is presumed that in the near future this difference between an "official Masters" and "university Masters" will disappear as universities and students alike demand more diversity and variability in degree design for the ever evolving world.

    So again, when you see a University Masters, it means that university has chosen for whatever reason not to follow the National Degree model and make up their own degree. Maybe a new field is emerging (the going green effort to be exact) and the time it would take for the government to "approve the degree" would take too much time, so they make up their own degree as it goes. I mentioned earlier that the University of Salamanca offers University degrees. They were established in 1218, way before our beloved Harvard. So if you ask me if I would study a University degree from the University of Salamanca, that would be a no brainer.

    The trick comes when you study a "university Masters" and then want to transfer it to the US. Is it a US equivalent or is it not? The answer depends on WHO (or what agency) you "ask". They should all say yes, but some will say no. The best bet if you fall in love with a University Masters degree is to work with a Spanish university that has an agreement with one of the foreign accrediting agencies in the US. If that is not possible I would recommend speaking with your targeted agency first to see what their experience has been. From my own experience and from the experience of my Spanish degreed friends, WES has been the most friendly, but of course I can make no promises. If you don't want the headache, then go for an Official Masters.
  19. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    I called Michigan State today. Their articulation is essentially that you can use your MSU credits from 2 courses toward the UOC master's degree. Also, they allow you to double dip from the MSU classes- 4 of the MSU classes = a certificate. The UOC program DOESN'T REQUIRE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA or COLLEGE DEGREE to enroll. *sometimes we have people here asking about such degree options. IMO this is the best part of the program.

    Anyway, I worded my questions to MSU very generically "is UOC legit?? Are they accredited? Are they a diploma mill?" all of which she was very reassuring and excited about their program- encouraging me to consider it and stating that it is a good program. It is NOT, however, a Michigan State program (giving them no reason to "sell" me), and unless you complete the MSU certificate, you do not have MSU grad credit. Those 2 courses required inside the UOC degree are through their lifelong learning extension portal, and won't come up on a transcript. (again, unless you get the cert). Looks good though.

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