THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .STUDY gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED TRUST, CONVENIENCE AND UTILITY.
The .study gTLD will create a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative internet space where information, services and resources of Open Universities Australia Pty Ltd (OUA) will be closely controlled by it. The majority of the anticipated domain name registrations in the .study gTLD will be used in the promotion and communication of OUA’s open online studies. A subset of domain names has the potential to be created and used for user engagement purposes and to regulate the education sector from a digital perspective, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
OUA is a not-for-profit company committed to the provision of quality online education. OUA is owned by 7 major public universities in Australia, such as Monash University and University of South Australia, and is the national leader in providing access to quality online higher education for Australian students. Since its establishment in 1993, OUA has helped over 144,000 students, across over 100 countries including Middle East, Singapore, Hong Kong, UK and China, who might otherwise not have gained access to quality education to achieve their educational and career goals. OUA aims to extend its national leadership in providing students flexible online access to quality higher education and enhance professional development through distance education. OUA is committed to providing access to the largest choice of quality online tertiary education options and services with over 1400 study topics and 170 qualifications online, all taught by 20 leading Australian universities and tertiary education providers. OUA recognises that one education system does not fit all and seeks to help students find smarter and flexible ways to learn by providing educational opportunities that are in line with their changing needs. For example, OUA offers a unique model which enables its students to study individual study topics and to commence studies, in most cases, without the need for a previous study via open entry. In this regard, the .study gTLD will cater to OUA’s commitment to open its online studies to anyone, anytime and anywhere. These objectives will be further complemented by OUA’s separate application for .courses to strengthen OUA’s profile as a leading online learning services provider in the education sector.
Business activities are increasingly conducted over the internet, allowing for greater levels of interaction between organisations, businesses and customers. As a result, both businesses and end users benefit from ease of interaction and a wider range of choices with lower transaction costs. However, the development in this arena in the current domain name system has exposed the online participants to increased criminal activities over the internet, including data breach, hacking and phishing. These sophisticated criminal activities cause reputational damage to businesses as internet users lose consumer confidence and trust with the businesses targeted by such criminal activities. The .study domain name will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with OUA online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
OUA’s mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest. OUA is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .study gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to OUA , at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .study domain names are trustworthy. As .study domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under OUA’s control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .study domain space;
- competition: the proposed new gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice at the level of registration of domain names among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to contribute to ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest through its operation focused on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in the .study gTLD will drive existing and new top level domain (TLD) registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs; and
- consumer choice: the proposed new gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting OUA’s marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with OUA. As OUA has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under the .study domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .study gTLD, the projected number of registration is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that around 50 domain names will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to about 1000 domain names as OUA develops and implements new online studies services.
As the new .study gTLD expands and evolves, OUA may at a later date consider offering personalised domains to its students such as studentID.study to interact with OUA. OUA expects that this will provide an opportunity for students to develop their digital skills and in the building of their own domain property resulting in students innovating in the use of the internet. In this endeavour, OUA will retain control over these spaces and it will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. OUA will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to the .study gTLD including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
OUA is a well-recognised education brand in Australia with an extensive trademark and domain name portfolio relating to the study services it offers. OUA’s key domain names are in the .edu.au domain space, which is only available to recognised educational organisations in Australia. OUA’s trademarks are registered in categories, such as Electrical and scientific apparatus (Class 9); Paper goods and printed matter (Class 16) and Education and entertainment (Class 41), which are all relating to the multiple disciplines of study that OUA provides.
OUA is owned by Australia’s most respected universities, each with a significant global reputation as a provider of education, teaching, research and study. On this note, OUA has a longstanding tradition and relationship with the term “study”. OUA believes that the .study gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. Although the word “study” may have several meanings, OUA will use the .study gTLD only in respect of its studying options and education services. OUA also plans to use the proposed .study gTLD to bring the whole education sector together in a centric place and to promote the benefits of open online learning to the global stage more effectively.