LAHORE: The Information Technology University (ITU) has become the first Pakistani university to be an associate partner of the European Union’s Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree (EMJMD) in cybersecurity, called CYBERUS.

For the first time under this programme, ITU professors will be involved in the planning, organisation and delivery of an Erasmus Mundus joint masters degree in Europe and will be sent to teach at the partner European universities, says a press release on Tuesday.

It says international students, enrolled under the CYBERUS programme, will be sent to Pakistan as well for their research work at the ITU and will be fully-funded by the programme.

ITU is the first public-sector research-intensive university in Pakistan, which has earned global recognition for excellence in just nine years since its inception.

ITU Director Research Dr Khurram Bhatti, says the programme aims to train future experts (engineers, managers, researchers) in cybersecurity from around the world over a two-year period.

Under this programme, ITU will contribute to the development of cybersecurity courses, provide exchange placement to international students in cybersecurity, be represented on the International Advisory Board of the programme, mentor students with a particular focus on female students, and contribute to the joint development of a sustainability plan beyond EU funding.

Alongside ITU, 30 international higher education institutions and research organisations, 15 companies, company clusters and 6 state agencies (government departments) are partners in this programme from around the world, making it one of the most comprehensive collaborations, the press release adds.

Pakistan’s engagement in this programme will open new avenues of international collaboration in cyber security – an area of research where the country needs to rapidly develop expertise to deal with future challenges in e-governance, e-services, and financial markets.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2021

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