UBB Cluj joins EIT Digital, adding cybersecurity courses to EIT Digital Master School

As of 2023, Babeș-Bolyai University (UBB) in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, will be providing cybersecurity courses as part of the EIT Digital Master School.

With their shared interest in digital security, innovation and entrepreneurship, the UBB Department of Computer Science and EIT Digital were a logical pairing for the development of master’s-level education.

"We were already thinking of starting a master’s programme in cybersecurity at the university, so this was an incentive," said UBB Professor Simona Motogna. "It was a very good match with the interests of the faculty."

Cybersecurity has become an essential cross-cutting area of expertise impacting all other types of digital work, according to Motogna. The EIT Digital cybersecurity programme in which UBB is participating produces professionals with hands-on knowledge of issues like blockchain, crypto currencies, ethical hacking, and quantum cryptography - as well as entrepreneurship.

Like all EIT Digital Master School programmes, students in the two-year cybersecurity programme spend the first year at one university and the second year at another. They earn two degrees, one from each school, and their diploma has the widely recognised EIT Label.

The extra degree, and the chance to study in two different countries, "is one of the strongest points of the EIT Digital programme that differentiates it from other cybersecurity programmes," according to Motogna. Another strong point is "the EIT Digital prestige," she said. "This is a very important organisation in Europe, and the fact that this programme is accredited by them and supported by them is very important."

Entrepreneurship skills are essential

In addition to these aspects “there is also a third benefit that makes this programme unique: the fact that we have a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation,” Motogna said.

Entrepreneurship has become an essential skill for anyone working in computer sciences, she explained. Her own involvement with entrepreneurship has included 10 years of service on the board of the local Spherik accelerator.

BBU Cluj The Cluj digital ecosystem, to which UBB belongs, has also recognised the importance of entrepreneurship. Over the past couple of decades, Cluj developed into a European centre for outsourcing of computer programming, but “we realised that just doing outsourcing in Cluj is not sustainable in the long run.” Motogna explained. “We need as a local community to invest in our own products, our own companies involved in entrepreneurship.“

Now Cluj has a more sophisticated computer science cluster, with local venture capital and a focus on identifying needs and providing solutions. This same attitude is built into the UBB’s Computer Science Department and their cybersecurity course for EIT Digital.

You have to think of what product you will provide, not just implement something,” whether you act as an entrepreneur starting a company or an intrapreneur who brings new ideas to their own institution, Motogna said. “Both are actually the same principle and they have become required skills in the computer field.”

Course development

Motogna spoke of natural synergy between UBB and EIT Digital.

"We developed the programme with very useful and very high-quality feedback and advice from the coordinator of the cybersecurity master programme in EIT Digital," she said.

Like other schools in the programme, UBB offers an "entry year" of cybersecurity training that focuses on the fundamentals and an "exit year" that has a specialised focus.

Students choose to do their entry and exit years at different universities, and for cybersecurity that means UBB or any of the other five partner universities: ELTE in Budapest, University of Rennes in France, University of Trento in Italy, University of Twente in Netherlands and University of Turku in Finland.

"For our specialisation, we decided, based on the expertise in our department, to go for software security," covering areas such as how developers can build in security to their programmes, Motogna said.

Beneficial partnership

For UBB, the collaboration with EIT Digital brings "higher international visibility," according to Motogna.

"This is a major reason why we partnered with EIT Digital: to make Babeș-Bolyai University visible as an education partner around Europe, in order to attract international students," she said. The higher international profile also helps attract research collaborations with other universities. Meanwhile, affiliation with EIT Digital's acceleration and scaleup programmes attract Romanian companies, who can partner with UBB in their training.

Given the benefits of the partnership, Motogna said she expects to see more collaboration. "The next step that we will probably take is having a summer school," which is an integral part of the EIT Digital Master School, she said.

Whatever the next project might be, Motogna said she is confident of good results from working with EIT Digital. "This cooperation was, from my point of view, a very nice example of best practice," she explained.

Would you like to develop with us attractive classes, programmes and courses for the EIT Digital Master School, Professional School and Summer School? Join our ecosystem of world class entrepreneurial digital education providers!

Contact us now!

Sign up for updates

Receive the latest news and events updates by subscribing to our newsletter.

Sign up for our Newsletter

For media contacts

Are you a member of the media and would you like to contact us?
→ Get in touch with us here

Continue reading

Scroll up

Co-Funded by the European Union