Inauguration of the Virtual Class for the Diploma in IT This year the Board of Studies of IT has started a new initiative where the evening Diploma in IT is being taught simultaneously at the University of Malta at tal-Qroqq and the University Gozo Center at Xewkija using a virtual classroom concept.

The initiative has been made possible through an EU 6th Framework project named TWISTER in which various applications of satellite communication are being investigated. The consortium coordinated by ASTRIUM is made up of satellite service providers, EUTELSAT and ARIMISKA, WI-FI manufacturers, ANETO, and a number of end users coming from France, Spain, Poland, Greece and Malta. Malta is represented in this consortium in the area of Education by the Department of Communications and Computer Engineering of the University of Malta. The Department and the University Gozo Center have identified the need of evening courses where Gozitan students can participate to lectures simultaneously with the Maltese counterparts without the need for crossing to Malta or vice-versa. The Diploma in IT has inaugurated this service with some lectures being given from Malta while others from Gozo. The video-conferencing through satellite system enables two-way communications in virtual real-time enabling interaction by all participants.

The Virtual Class was inaugurated by the Honorable Minister Giovanna Debono, Professor Paul Micallef, Professor Lino Briguglio and Dr Hector Fenech in Gozo and Professor Roger Ellul-Micallef  and Dr Ing. Carl James Debono in Malta. The ceremony took place just before the start of the normal scheduled lecture on Wednesday 27th October 2004.

The funding from the project enabled the purchase of the video-conferencing equipment, satellite transceivers, WI-FI equipment connecting the University Gozo Center to MCAST in Xewkija, and software that will enable modeling of the system. This software will help in the Department of Communication and Computer Engineeringís research activities aiming at producing a model for such a network.