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Middlesex University Dubai Joins Fortinet Academic Partner Program

Middlesex University (MDX) Dubai has formally become a part of Fortinet’s Academic Partner Program, marking a significant advancement in the university’s commitment to promoting cybersecurity education. This partnership aligns with Fortinet’s objective to shape the workforce of the future, as the Academic Partner Program collaborates with higher education institutions worldwide to provide Fortinet’s esteemed training and certifications, to equip students to become skilled cybersecurity professionals. Fortinet has set an ambitious goal to train 1 million individuals in cybersecurity by 2026.

As an Academic Partner, MDX Dubai will incorporate Fortinet NSE certifications into its existing courses seamlessly. In addition, the university will provide standalone, self-paced learning opportunities for students, covering a variety of certifications from Fortinet Certified Fundamentals to Fortinet Certified Solution Specialist levels. The collaboration allows MDX Dubai to use Fortinet network security technologies, offering students hands-on lab experiences to enhance their practical skills.

Beyond offering NSE courses, MDX Dubai and Fortinet will engage in collaborative research and development initiatives, exploring opportunities for knowledge sharing 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 aligns with the UAE Government’s Advanced Skills Strategy and the goals outlined in the Centennial Plan 2071, which prioritizes imparting specialized skills to students. Furthermore, it supports the objectives of the UAE Cybersecurity Council, which is committed to developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and fostering a secure and resilient cyber infrastructure in 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.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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