Middlesex University Dubai Enlists in Fortinet Academic Partner Program


Middlesex University (MDX) Dubai has officially joined Fortinet’s Academic Partner Program, signalling a significant stride in the university’s dedication to advancing cybersecurity education. The partnership aligns with Fortinet’s mission to shape the future workforce, as the Academic Partner Program collaborates with global higher education institutions to deliver Fortinet’s renowned training and certifications, aiming to empower students to become proficient cybersecurity professionals. Fortinet has set an ambitious target of training 1 million individuals in cybersecurity by 2026.

In its role as an Academic Partner, MDX Dubai will seamlessly integrate Fortinet NSE certifications into its existing courses. Additionally, the university will offer standalone, self-paced learning opportunities for students, covering a range of certifications from Fortinet Certified Fundamentals to Fortinet Certified Solution Specialist levels. The collaboration enables MDX Dubai to utilize Fortinet network security technologies, providing students with hands-on lab experiences to enhance their practical skills.

Beyond delivering NSE courses, MDX Dubai and Fortinet will engage in joint research and development initiatives, exploring avenues for knowledge exchange through workshops, guest lectures, internships, and faculty visits. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was formalized in a ceremony held on December 11th at MDX Dubai’s campus in Dubai Knowledge Park, attended by Fortinet executives, MDX Dubai undergraduate security students, and staff.

The collaboration is in harmony with the UAE Government’s Advanced Skills Strategy and the objectives outlined in the Centennial Plan 2071, where imparting specialized skills to students stands out as a crucial priority. Additionally, it complements the goals of the UAE Cybersecurity Council, which is dedicated to formulating a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and fostering a secure and resilient cyber infrastructure within the region.

“As malicious actors enhance their attack tactics, the cybersecurity skills gap is widening, impacting organizations right across the UAE. Fortinet’s 2023 Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report found that as a result of unfilled IT positions due to the skills shortage, 68% of organizations indicate they face additional cyber risks,” said Alain Penel, Vice President, Middle East, Turkey & CIS, Fortinet.

“Our Academic Partners work tirelessly to bring cybersecurity education to higher education learners around the world, a crucial effort in helping to shrink the talent shortage. We’re thrilled to be working with MDX Dubai in this area and look forward to strengthening our partnership as we continue to train the workforce of the future,” he concluded.

Professor Fehmida Hussain, Deputy Director of Engagement and Student Experience and Head of Computer Engineering and Informatics said, “As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, our partnership with Fortinet represents a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering industry-academia partnerships and enhancing the student experience. By integrating Fortinet’s NSE certifications into our courses, we aim to empower our students with practical skills and knowledge that is directly applicable in the dynamic field of cybersecurity.”

“This collaboration not only addresses the pressing skills gap but also aligns seamlessly with our mission to equip students with the expertise needed for success in the digital era. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with Fortinet, fostering a culture of innovation and excellence in cybersecurity education,” Professor Hussain added.

Prarthana Mary

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