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Call for applications: Introduction to Internet Governance online course

Colleagues, here goes Diplo's call for applications for the upcoming Introduction to Internet Governance course, which kick-starts on 16 February. The 10-week course introduces IG policy and covers main issues, including Infrastructure and Standardisation, Legal, Economic, Sociocultural, and Development aspects, and a section on IG processes and actors.

Details below, and at http://www.diplomacy.edu/courses/IGCBP-foundation

Introduction to Internet Governance

Course details:

Internet Governance (IG) may be more important to you than you realise.

Have you been reading and worrying about cybersecurity threats? Does online surveillance concern you and your colleagues? These are important IG issues. Learning more about IG will help you understand these personal and professional issues, and what can and should be done about them. Net neutrality? Privacy in online storage? Guidelines for cross-border Internet issues? How can regulators enhance and protect without interfering with the innovative principles that are the core of the Internet?

The 10-week Introduction to Internet Governance online course introduces IG policy and covers main issues, including Infrastructure and Standardisation, Legal, Economic, Sociocultural, and Development aspects, and a section on IG processes and actors. The course covers broadband policy; management of domain names and IP addresses, including the transition from IPv4 to IPv6; network neutrality; jurisdiction, intellectual property rights, open source and piracy; privacy protection; data security and cybersecurity; child protection; human rights; content management; digital signatures; emerging issues such as policies related to social networks and cloud computing, and more, with space for regional and other issues raised by the participants.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand Internet-related terminology, concepts and issues
  • Understand the international aspects of Internet governance
  • Identify institutional and negotiation aspects of Internet governance
  • Explain the various regional and professional understandings and approaches to Internet governance
  • Engage in the Internet governance policy processes in their countries and regions, as well as in global policy processes.

The course forms part of Diplo's Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme Foundation Phase.

Excerpt from course materials

‘...IG is sometimes used interchangeably with Internet regulation and Internet policy. Although there is a considerable overlap, there are still specific differences between these concepts. Regulation implies the existence of legal rules with prescriptions of behaviour and sanctions, while policy is a broader term, usually referring to a plan to guide decisions and actions.’

Course outline

The Introduction to Internet Governance online course includes one week of hypertext practice and platform familiarisation and introduction, and 8 in-depth course texts.

Course topics include:

  • Introduction to Internet governance: issues, processes and actors; evolution, international context, basic terminology, guiding principles;
  • Infrastructure and Standardisation Basket: infrastructure, TCP/IP, DNS, Root Servers, Internet Service Providers, economic models, security, Network Neutrality;
  • Legal Basket: legal mechanisms, jurisdiction, arbitration, Intellectual Property Rights, cybercrime;
  • Economic Basket: e-commerce, e-banking, and e-money;
  • Socio-Cultural Basket: content policy, privacy and data protection, multilingualism and cultural diversity;
  • Development Basket: the Digital Divide, access to knowledge, capacity development
  • Process (WSIS, IGF, ICANN), and actors (ICANN, RIR, ISOC, UN, ITU, regional organisations, governments, private sector, civil society)

Who should apply:

Diplo seeks applications from the following, from both developed and developing countries:

  • Officials in government ministries, departments, or institutions dealing with Information Society, Internet and ICT-related policy issues (e.g. telecommunications, education, foreign affairs, justice);
  • Postgraduate students, academics and researchers in the IG field (e.g. in telecommunications, electrical engineering, law, economics, development studies);
  • Civil society activists in the IG and Information Society fields;
  • Journalists covering IG issues; and
  • Individuals in Internet business-related fields (e.g. ISPs, software developers).

This course may also be of interest to:

  • Journalists, staff of international and non-governmental organisations, translators, business people and others who interact with diplomats and wish to improve their understanding of diplomacy-related topics.
  • Postgraduate students or practitioners in other fields seeking an entry point into the world of diplomacy.
  • Postgraduate students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programmes or diplomatic academies and to gain deeper insight through interaction with practising diplomats.
  • Practising diplomats, civil servants, and others working in international relations who want to refresh or expand their knowledge on the subject, under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics.


This course is conducted online over a period of ten weeks, including one week of classroom orientation, eight weeks of dynamic class content and activities, and one week for the final assignment. Reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. Each week, participants read the provided lecture texts, adding comments, references, and questions in the form of hypertext entries. The tutor and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the lecture text. During the week, participants complete additional online activities (e.g. further discussion via blogs or forums or quizzes). At the end of the week, participants and tutors meet online in a chat room to discuss the week’s topic.

Courses are based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction. This course requires a minimum of eight to ten hours of study time per week.

The course materials, the e-learning platform, and the working language of the course is English. Applicants should consider whether their reading and writing skills in English are sufficient to follow postgraduate level materials and discussion. Spanish, Portuguese, and French options may be offered. Please request more information if you are interested in a second language option.

In addition to English-speaking groups, bilingual groups may be formed for the course, having English as the primary language, and either Arabic, French, Spanish, or Portuguese as the secondary language for communication and interaction. This option will be offered depending on the needs of the applicants. Applicants to the bilingual groups (if offered) are asked to note that both languages are considered working languages within these groups. Reading and writing skills in English must be sufficient to understand learning materials and instructions, and for basic communication and interaction. Reading and writing skills in the second language must be sufficient for discussion and research purposes. Please request more information if you are interested in a second language option.

Participants are invited to join Diplo’s global Internet governance online community of over 1,400 members, and to attend monthly webinars and other IG-related events and activities.


Applicants for the certificate course must have:

  • Basic IG knowledge and/or experience of the multistakeholder approach in international affairs;
  • Sufficient ability in the English language to undertake postgraduate level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and submitting written essay assignments).
  • Fluency in the second language for the applicants to any of the bilingual groups (if offered);
  • Regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable);
  • A minimum of 8-10 hours commitment per week, and the readiness to participate in class online sessions (once a week at specified times).

In addition to the above, applicants for the accredited course must also meet University of Malta prerequisites:

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject with at least Second Class Honours.
  • Proof of English language proficiency obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). If when applying you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results, the University may issue a conditional letter of acceptance.


Course fees depend on whether you wish to obtain university credit for the course:

  • €790 (University of Malta Accredited Course)
  • €650 (Diplo Certificate Course)

Applicants must pay full fees upon official acceptance into the course. The fee includes:

  • Tuition fee
  • Access to all course materials online, via Diplo’s online classroom
  • Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff and other participants
  • Online technical support
  • University of Malta application fee (for University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Access, via the Internet, to the University of Malta e-journal collection (University of Malta Accredited Courses only
  • For Diplo Certificate Courses, postgraduate level certificate issued by DiploFoundation on successful completion of course requirements (interaction and participation, all assignments)

Financial assistance

A limited number of partial scholarships (maximum 20%) will be offered to participants from developing and emerging countries. Participants who would like to apply for financial assistance must upload the following documents with their application:

  • a CV or resumé;
  • a motivation letter outlining relevant professional and educational background, and interest in the course.

As Diplo's ability to offer scholarship support is limited, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek scholarship funding directly from local or international institutions. Our guide to Finding Scholarships for Online Study may provide you with some useful starting points.


How to apply:

A number of routes for application are available:

  • Apply for this course as a Diplo Certificate Course (see below)
  • Apply for this course as a University of Malta Accredited Course (see below)
  • Take this course as part of the Master/PGD in Contemporary Diplomacy

Apply for a Diplo Certificate Course

Applicants for certificate courses should apply online

Late applications will be considered if there are spaces available in the course.
Apply for a University of Malta Accredited Course

Complete application packages must be received by specified application deadlines in order to be considered.

  1. Two copies of the University of Malta application form (click here to download and print) filled out in full.
  2. Certified copies of original degree(s) and official transcripts.
  3. English translations of degree(s) and transcripts if they are not in English, signed and stamped by translator.
  4. English language proficiency certificate obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). Please indicate on the application form if you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results.
  5. Photocopy of personal details pages of your passport.
  6. Application fee or proof of payment (€100 – non-refundable – see methods of payment).

Please mail complete application packages to Ms Tanja Nikolic, admissions@diplomacy.edu

Application deadline: 
Credit: 15 December 2014. Late applications are still being accepted. Please contact Ms Tanja Nikolic at admimssions@diplomacy.edu for details.

Certificate: 12 January 2015

Cancellation Policy

Diplo reserves the right to cancel this course if enrolment is insufficient. In case of cancellation, Diplo will notify applicants shortly after the application deadline. Applicants who have paid an application fee may apply this fee towards another course or receive a refund.

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Website and downloads

Visit Diplo's IG website, www.diplomacy.edu/ig for info on programmes, events, and resources.

The full text of the book An Introduction to Internet Governance (6th edition) is available here. The translated versions in Serbian/BCS, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Portuguese are also available for download.


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