How can companies with cyber security expertise successfully collaborate with schools in technical vocational education (hbo/mbo), resulting in win-win solutions for all parties involved: students, cyber security professionals, companies, schools and society? Does the deployment of cyber security professionals as 'hybrid teachers' in education help to solve important bottlenecks there? If so, how do you organise this as smartly as possible - what are best practices in this area? Many questions, no ready-made answers yet. That is why HSD Office, in collaboration with three Universities of Applied Sciences (Den Haag, Leiden, Amsterdam) and ROC-Mondriaan, started the 'Hybrid teachers of cyber security in technical vocational education' pilot project in September 2020.
Hybrid lecturers' pilot project
The aim of the pilot is to embed cyber security education in ICT training more firmly in practice. This can be done through the deployment of cyber security professionals in education: as hybrid instructors, hybrid experts or guest instructors.
In this pilot, HSD Office is collaborating with the ICT study programmes of three Universities of Applied Sciences (Den Haag, Leiden, Amsterdam) and ROC-Mondriaan. At these schools, HSD Office makes an inventory of their questions, wishes, needs and bottlenecks with regard to the deployment of experts from the business community in education. The pilot runs formally until the end of 2020; the practical support provided by HSD can continue until March 2021. The pilot will be paid for via a 'booster grant' from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. It will be supervised in terms of content by TechniekPact and is part of a national project of five similar pilots.
Cyber security in hbo- and mbo-ICT
Cyber-attacks are a growing social and economic problem. The demand from the market for well-educated cyber security professionals is growing rapidly. In most ICT programmes, the subject of cyber security is now part of the curriculum. In the province of Zuid-Holland there are several higher professional education graduates: The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Leiden University of Applied Sciences even have Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes. ROC-Mondriaan is also a forerunner in this field: they pay attention to cyber security awareness, not only in the mbo-ICT study programme, but also in their non-technical study programmes. A good development, but does education fit in well with practice? Are lecturers sufficiently in touch with the world of cyber security professionals to prepare students for practice?
Focus on solving bottlenecks hybrid lecturers or a broader scope?
The bottlenecks and success factors in recruiting and retaining hybrid lecturers are well known. Extensive research has already been carried out into this. TechniekPact has a toolkit with information (videos, infographics, talking board) aimed to start the conversation and move from challenge to approach step by step. It seems that the participating schools are not primarily looking for hybrid teachers, but rather for companies with which a sustainable collaboration/partnership is possible in order to tackle the common challenges facing the field and in that context renew cyber security education. This would then mean a broader scope. HSD Office can and will play a connecting role here.
Human Capital Agenda Security
This pilot fits in with the Human Capital Agenda Security (2019-2022), which was set up in part by the parties involved, thus ensuring coherence and uniqueness. There are already experiences with setting up collaborations with education, public-private partnerships and connecting talent, including through the Cybersecurity Education Table, the RIF project P@CT, Public-Private Partnerships at Executive Master Cybersecurity, the annual International Cyber Security Summer School and the securitytalent.nl platform.
Click here for the lessons learned from this pilot.
Watch the informative film about the why of hybrid lecturers and the advantages for companies/employers, candidate hybrid lecturers, schools and students:
Want to know more about this pilot project? Please contact Paula Kager via firstname.lastname@example.org
Also read the interview with Marcel Spruit & Sandra van Steenvelt (HHS) about the collaboration with HSD Office in their search for hybrid teachers.