Polytechnic Chosen for USAID Cybersecurity Project

USAID Cybersecurity Activity Project launches a program in order to improve higher education in the field of cybersecurity within the project “Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine”. Partners of the project chose 14 leading Ukrainian universities, which included National University “Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic”.

Polytechnic Chosen for USAID Cybersecurity Project

Experts of the project chose 14 universities from all around Ukraine to participate in the special educational project USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine. The universities received special awards.

On March, 30, Head of Professional Development in Cybersecurity Department of USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine Olha Nasibulina announced the list of partner universities, which included National University "Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic", on the live opening ceremony of the educational component of this project. The project is intended for strengthening of Ukraine’s cybersecurity through systemic reforms, forming the professional potential of Ukraine in cybersecurity, partnerships with the private sector.

“The component of improving higher education in the field of cybersecurity is a crucial element of our project in general that has to transform the education in this field. I am glad to join you during the start of this initiative that aims to improve cybersecurity and its professional potential in Ukraine. The recent cyber attacks showed the necessity of ensuring cybersecurity as a component of the national security and protection of your country, so we would like to assure you that the United States of America fully support Ukraine in the issue of ensuring the decent level of cybersecurity.

“Strengthening of critical infrastructure and legal regulations are very relevant now, and our program is working on these issues. The first problem that we faced was the lack of specialists in cybersecurity. According to the research held in 2020, the cybersecurity job market has to increase almost twice its current volume to ensure continuous function of the critical infrastructure objects,” Deputy Director of Regional Mission of USAID in Ukraine and Belarus Susan Kutor mentioned.

More than 300 teachers of the chosen higher education institutions in the field of cybersecurity will take part in workshops and advanced training. The course will be held by American teachers from Perdue University and Florida International University. The training for teachers will start in June 2021 and last for 6 weeks. It will allow teachers to start teaching their students with new methods and approaches in September.

New cyber laboratories are to be created in nine Ukrainian universities to develop students’ practical skills and to model real situations.

“For the teachers of university, it is a great opportunity for professional development, to learn to instruments and methods of teaching, while introducing innovations into the education process. Our university aspires for development, following the current tendencies, ready to train competitive professionals and confidently react to the modern challenges of digital transformation,” Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Economic Development of Poltava Polytechnic, PhD Olena Filonych commented and thanked the organizers.

According to Deputy Minister of Education and Science for Digital Development and Transformation Artur Seletskyi, while analyzing the statistics it is important to emphasize the fact that annually our country trains 16 thousands IT-specialists and 130 thousands engineering specialists, which constitutes almost 40% of all the graduates of higher education institutions.

“Unfortunately, Ukraine has become one of the countries that suffered the most from the recent cyberattacks. There were cases when certain universities and their graduates also suffered losses due to such actions. That is why Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine pays a great attention to the creation of a functioning system of training highly-qualified and competent specialists in cybersecurity. In 2017, new state standards for educaiton in IT were approved, in particular for the Cybersecurity specialization,” Artur Seletskyi commented. The speaker mentioned that he hopes for full cooperation with the USAID project at universities and in the state in general.

The USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine program is financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Since May, 2020, USAID started implementing the project in Ukraine, which became the first project for the Agency in the IT field. The program, implemented by DAI Global LLC aims to make the critical infrastructure of Ukraine more endurable to cyberattacks by forming trusting and cooperating relationships between the main interested parties in the field of cybersecurity that represent the government bodies, private business, scientific community and the public community.

The activity will be realized in the three following components:

  • improvements of the favorable conditions for cybersecurity field development through enhancements of Ukrainian law system, bringing it to the international standards; development of cooperation between the private sector subjects and the public sector, increase of ability to detect and counteract cyber incidents by ensuring access to appropriate technology and equipment;
  • training of Ukrainian cybersecurity specialists by supporting education programs, and improvement of the level of workers’ knowledge about the risks connected to cybersecurity and the appropriate protective measures;
  • construction of a stable eco-system of cybersecurity that will use the potential of the public-private partnership in order to develop the innovations, ensure the access to and development of business opportunities, in particular, for small and medium-sized business, in the field of cybersecurity.

It is expected that the experience and the practices of supporting the chosen sectors of critical infrastructure will be applied in other sectors of critical infrastructure, as well as cover the private and public sectors.

Poltava Polytechnic is included into the top-50 most popular Ukrainian higher education institutions to study IT and has been actively developing the IT specializations and updating the laboratory facilities. In March 2021, the Cyber Robo Lab, a robotics laboratory, was opened..

In May 2020, our university signed the Memorandum on Cooperation and Partnership with the Cyberpolice Department of the National Police of Ukraine, within which systemic measures on improving the efficiency of counteracting cyber crimes and the level of students’, teachers’ and university employees’ knowledge in this sphere were undertaken.

Poltava Polytechnic also opened the first Technology and Innovation Support Center in Poltava region created with the support of the State Enterprise “Ukrainian Institute of Intellectual Property” (Ukrpatent).

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National University “Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic”