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Opening the Universitat Oberta

E-mail message in English


Original en català d'aquest missatge:

Traducción al castellano de este mensaje:


Hello, everyone.

I've known that the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC,
Open University of Catalonia) demands that its students
use IBM compatible PCs (486 or better), MS Windows 95,
MS Office Pro and Netscape Navigator.

I'm startled by them demanding particular brands of
software and excluding, for instance, Macs, OS/2, Linux
or even MS Windows 3.1 (and theoretically also
Windows NT), instead of stating document formats to
allow document exchange, or standards, or some more
open specification.

I find the idea of a university with its campus on the
internet and trying to incorporate the new information
and communication technologies in order to put higher
education closer to many people to be a project exiting
enough for us all to have an interest in helping
improve it, and I think that finding the way to avoid the
former restrictions would lead this institution towards
the goals it should have.

My opinion is that our first networked teaching institution
(in Catalonia) has a great chance of establishing attitudes
and influence the society built by its graduates when they
leave the university to populate computer networks,
it would be wise to help them get used to different
computer systems, different uses of this systems and
different users instead of having them cooperate in a
closed world of certain products.

This has lead me to write my thinking at

and to tell the UOC ( )
so. If you share my interest in this appeal and you consider it
important enough, I invite you to send them your opinion and
start a debate on what alternatives we can offer to help students
and teachers collaborate efficiently in the UOC network without
having to restrict themselves to products predefined by the
university administration.

Although I'd find worthier an original opinion, freely composed,
I've been asked to put together a model of complaint message
intended to mix, copy and modify parts of it as desired for those
not willing to write it from scratch. It is at

An address where you can send your opinion on these matters is       (UOC rector)

And there is an address for questions about the UOC in general
(such as confirming that the requirements I criticize are for real)            (information about the UOC)

There is a mailing list for discussion of these issues at
called obrimuoc

Web Access:
To join the list you can send an empty message to
For further instructions see

I keep looking forward to know your thinking on this.


Sensible forwarding of this message to people or groups that
may have opinion or advice to offer, and may be interested in it,
is welcomed.

Xavier Drudis Ferran