Theory and practice go hand in hand. That is the philosophy of the Universities of Delft and Twente. That is why thirty cybersecurity master students visit the HSD Campus in 2018 as a part of the ‘Entrepreneurship’ module. A number of HSD-partners shares practical knowledge and provides assignments for students to gain knowledge themselves.
The master students chose for a 2-year specialisation and to extend their knowledge in the subject of cybersecurity, connecting to the 3-year bachelor’s in computer science. Via the elective ‘Capstone’ they get acquainted with the City of The Hague and HSD as the centre for cybersecurity in The Netherlands, and with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. In groups, they worked on assignments provided by HSD-partners Threadstone, Compumatica, Cisco, Security Matters, Innovalor, Milvum, Meld een Vermoeden and Strict. “This enables students to combine their contemporary theoretical foundation with practical questions of entrepreneurs. It contributes to a great enrichment of their knowledge,” says Pieter Hartel, professor cybersecurity at Delft University. When executing the assignment, students are expected to link to other disciplines as well, such as risk management, judicial cases, finance, ethics and psychology. “A fifth of the bachelor consists of social-technical modules, where technology is discussed in a certain context. Our students should, for example, be able to explain a topic to someone who is not technical, know what is allowed and what is not allowed judicially and understand why people do or do not want to cooperate on implementing a new technology.” The students are working on market research, product development and business cases of HSD-partners. Hartel is enthusiastic about these assignments:
“This teaches the students that their bachelor is not just about technology. If nobody wants to buy your invention, you still have nothing.”
New and fresh
One of the HSD-partners that provides an assignment for the students, is Threadstone Cyber Security. General director Rene van Etten wants to know if the idea for a product can be backed up with a business case, consisting of market research and financial calculations. “It is so exciting to work with students. They offer fresh insights and ask critical questions. Sometimes this confronts you with assumptions that you are doing without being aware of it and this helps you look at your company from a helicopter point of view.” According to van Etten, the nice thing is that you generate brand awareness among students and that you can interest them to apply for a job within the company. “That was not important to us at first. I think the most important thing is giving students the opportunity to learn while doing. That will only be a benefit to their qualities. This also provides new knowledge for us. That is a nice bonus.”
Picture: Pieter Hartel
Read the interview in Dutch.