UNIVERSITY CHALLENGES AND FREE OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE (FOSS): OPENING MINDS, CLOSING GAPS
Universidad de Oviedo (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The need to establish a more complete and far-reaching Europe, strengthening its intellectual, cultural, social, scientific and technological dimensions was emphasized in the Bologna Declaration, signed by the European Ministers of Education in 1999. Since then, European universities have been involved in the development of the so-called European Higher Education Area (EHEA), including the adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees, the European co-operation in quality assurance, and the promotion of mobility and European dimension in higher education.
In this framework, the use of Free Open Source Software (FOSS) could provide several advantages, related to both the freedom given to users and the strengths of its peer-to-peer development model. In fact, some of the most outstanding characteristics of the FOSS (free, democratic, sustainable and technologically competitive educational model, cooperative and competitive relationships, …) result to be coincident with the main aims of the European Higher Education Area.
In this paper we describe the role that this Free Open Source Software could play in the University context, also providing some statistical evidence about FOSS penetration and its recent evolution. Furthermore, since the implementation of the new university degrees can be considered as a “break point”, we briefly describe our FOSS experiences at the University of Oviedo, involving Statistics and Econometrics.
Finally, we summarize the conclusions and describe the main challenges that FOSS must face during the coming years.
Keywords: FOSS, University, EHEA, Bologna Process, Econometrics, Gretl.