An internet-based university is to start operating courses from Malta that are aimed at spreading expertise on information technology communications, especially to developing countries.
Online learning will be coordinated by the Global Telecommunication University, which was launched by the International Telecommunication Union.
Following an agreement with the Maltese government, the first regional internet node of the university has been established in the private Maltacom College.
From this base, the telecoms university and its sister organisation, the Global Telecommunication Training Institute, are to initially operate eight-week short courses via the web-based system, and will later offer a 40-week programme leading to a masters in communications management, co-sponsored by Cable and Wireless.
Three categories of courses have been developed:
•Multi-sector courses, focusing on quality management, leadership and marketing
•Train-the-trainer courses, incorporating the use of technology in distance learning and developing distance-learning material
•Telecom-oriented courses, covering managerial and commercial aspects, legal and regulatory issues as well as technology.
The aim is to set up a series of nodes around the world for lecturers, creating a global educational system, which will be especially useful to poorer countries seeking information technology expertise.
Yoshio Utsumi, secretary-general of the ITU, said: "Malta's strategic geographical position in the middle of the Mediterranean offers an excellent platform at the crossroads of the Euro-Mediterranean, Arab, North African and Eastern European region."