Following up from Bianca Gibson's comments...

At the university of Melbourne you can access the information futures report

which states:

To deal with globalisation of education and its infrastructure we will:
   Leverage the opportunities offered by being part of a global collaborative 
community. 6.
We will actively seek to participate in collaborative communities and 
partnerships that enable us to influence and leverage abilities beyond our 
means as an individual organisation. We will use open standards, open source 
and other open initiatives to ensure that we can effectively collaborate, 
'trade' and re-use the work of whole communities. We will not invest in 
creating bespoke solutions that we could readily achieve in other ways or where 
they do not add unique and deep value to our mission.

The report online is dated 2008, but I believe it has been reiterated in a Dec 
2011 update. So The University of Melbourne apparently encourages use of open 
source software!


! Professor Geoff Shaw                                                    |
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-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of 
Bianca Gibson
Sent: Friday, 24 February 2012 11:27 AM
To: Melbourne Free Software Interest Group
Subject: [free-software-melb] getting involved with unis (wiki)

I was looking at the easy advocacy page on the wiki, and saw the getting 
involved in Unis part. I figured as a student I'd be able to shed some more 
light through my experiences.

Getting involved in Unis

   - doing your course with free software - Andy K

At the moment, you can't do it with fully free software (at least at Monash). 
Sometimes even required to use proprietary windows only software.

   - free software tools

Sometimes actively encouraged, sometimes not permitted. Never seen it 
encouraged due to being free software, always another reason. Sometimes it gets 
mentioned that it's free software, though generally referred to as open source.

   - lab computer

At Monash the IT lab computers dual boot windows and some distro I can't 
remember, but they keep that distro really out of date and don't even install 
dev tools on it in IT labs. One of my tutors last semester thinks it's so no 
one will use it so they won't have to support it. Given that, I'd expect active 
resistance to trying to get the tools we need on them.

   - are we focusing on unis or students?

I think they tie together. You can target students through unis, for example a 
lug is starting at Monash Clayton soon, and hopefully we can do something about 
these issues around the uni, thus using students to target the uni.

   - requirements on submitting assignments
      - getting course requirements changed
   - Ben F: does MS office naively support ODF?

I don't know, but you receive a list of formats you are allowed to submit in - 
for anything you would want to submit as odt it ranges from .doc only, pdf only 
or both.

   - course coordinators?

Some could be sympathetic, but I see it being very difficult to get them to 
allow using fully free software. Allowing complete use of a free software 
operating system is more realistic for now.
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