Cyberactioning is a project accepted in the Advanced Digital Skills programme under the call DIGITAL-2022-SKILLS-03 and the topic DIGITAL-2022-SKILLS-03-SPECIALISEDEDU.

The seed of the Cyberactioning project was originated within Arqus, a University Alliance of eight European universities (Granada, Graz, Leipzig, Lyon 1, Minho, Padua, Vilnius and Wroclaw), framed within the European Universities Initiative. The Arqus European University Alliance was formally established in Brussels on 27 November 2018. In 2022, the alliance has been funded again for an additional four-year period.

One of the objectives of the Arqus Alliance is to promote the development of joint learning programmes to enhance quality of the European Higher Education system. In this line, a working group was formed in 2022 with the universities of Granada, Minho, Padua and Vilnius with the aim to develop a joint master’s degree programme in cybersecurity.

The participation in this call aimed to boost this initiative, widening it with other activities and initiatives that would permit the consolidation of an ambitious training programme, on the basis of a consortium that goes beyond Arqus members and includes relevant companies and research centres in the cybersecurity sector. The vision is to create a European cybersecurity training programme of reference, expanding and responding to the needs of the labour market not only for students in ICT fields, but also for non-ICT students in broad sectors. Furthermore, it aims to explore new learning methods aligned with the recent trends of pedagogical and syllabus structure research related to cybersecurity.

The consortium for the project is composed of:

  • Four Higher Education Institutions (universities), – Universities of Granada, Padova, Minho and Vilnius University –
  • One research institute – IMDEA
  • Five companies focused on the cybersecurity market – Securiq Sistemas, DigitalSign, Eurotux, Amped and Qascom.

The main aims of the project is to train professionals in the cybersecurity field through the following initiatives:

  • a joint European Master in cybersecurity with a mobility path along the four universities;
  • a MOOC in cybersecurity aiming at training a minimum of 800 students from non-ICT sectors in each edition;
  • a scholarship programme to attract highly qualified students;
  • a programme of agreements and incentives to attract faculty, companies and research centres and generate synergies;
  • the acquisition of key technological infrastructure for support of the programmes.

The two training activities (Master and MOOC) have been developed taking into account the main frameworks and recommendations for the development of professional training plans in the field of cybersecurity, such as NICE (National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education) from NIST in the USA or the Joint Task Force (JTF) on cybersecurity, involving ACM, IEEE and other reference organizations. This adaptation of the training initiatives to the actual demands will guarantee an accurate impact in the European and global labour market. Finally, the proposal foresees a dissemination plan that ensures the impact of the proposed activities, mainly based on the celebration of a research conference, a programme of agreements with companies and organizations in the cybersecurity sector, a programme of grants for internships and research stays, and a set of initiatives for the dissemination of the training activities promoted by the members of the consortium.