Today, the Heads of CS departments at Aalto University and University of Helsinki made a joint announcement establishing Helsinki-Aalto Center for Information Security HAIC. HAIC is intended to serve as a main focal point for research and education in the broad areas of information security & privacy at both universities. Initially HAIC will focus on selecting top incoming MSc students choosing to specialize in information security in our MSc programs.
This is an important and timely milestone. The NordSecMob joint degree program has been a resounding success during the past decade in training top-notch students from Finland and abroad at Aalto University. Many of them have gone on to work in Finnish industry. Some have continued with doctoral studies both a Aalto University and at other top universities in Europe. One of the reasons for NordSecMob’s success is its scholarship program. But NordSecMob is coming to an end. At the same time, Finnish universities will introduce tuition fees for students from outside the EU/EEA area. This is what makes HAIC timely: both universities have allocated some scholarships for MSc students; this will help us attract and train similar levels of top quality students in information security.
Over time, we plan to extend HAIC in several ways. The first and most important among them is to reach out to our industrial partners in Finland and inviting them to sponsor more scholarships under the auspices of HAIC. The quality and international recognition of infosec research at Aalto University and University of Helsinki have significantly risen in the past few years. But the trend in government funding for higher education and research Finland is unmistakably downwards. Finnish industry stepping up its support is therefore crucial for ensuring our research and education continues to excel and expand. I am looking forward to dialogue with industry partners.