Mefat Shabani: "Study there was a great opportunity"
Mefat Shabani from Albania is the first student who has applied and has been granted the scholarship offered by Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. Mefat Shabani is the first-year student of the master's degree study program "Cybersecurity Engineering". He has previously studied at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences as an Erasmus+ exchange student during the academic year 2018/2019.
In Spring 2020 Rector of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences presented an initiative to grant scholarships for full-degree international students from non-EU and non-EEA countries. The scholarship is available for studies in master's degree study programs.
Why did you consider continuing your studies at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences?
M.S.: Because I liked the approach this university takes to my courses and professional growth, professors at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences have always help me to grow my knowledge, and also its in perfect match with my career aims. My desire since I was young was to make the internet a better and safer place, I will be able to provide solutions and consultations for how to be safe in the internet world daily use of people. So studying CyberSecurity Engineering it will help my academic and professional growth and combining them with me program
How do you evaluate your previous study period at ViA?
M.S.: Perfect, for me to study there was a great opportunity, that I am having it again. In 6 months during my Erasmus, I learned so many new things that helped to grow my knowledge and helped me with my perspective for master studies.
Why did you choose the Cybersecurity Engineering program?
M.S.: Everyday attacks happen on the Inet. There is a quote that I love for CyberSecurity, "There are only two types of companies those that have been hacked, and those that will be.", and during those hard time of COVID-19 so many companies are only working online (remotely), so I am pretty sure that this program will give me the knowledge on how to help those companies to stay safe and protect their data and privacy.
What was the encouragement to apply for a scholarship offered by ViA?
M.S.: Always since high school technology was my passion. I developed my first program when I was 16 years old. During my Erasmus here I started my startup company, but understanding how business runs and more, I saw that security threads are dangerous to companies, losing clients and employees data and their privacy, so I set myself a goal, to learn and improve my skills on CyberSecurity and ViA was the perfect solutions. During my applications I had consultations with Professor Ojars Balins and also with professor Martins Jansevskis where they both motivated me to apply, I am grateful to them.
What do you expect from your studies at ViA?
M.S.: Until now I have had only some lectures, and I already can say that I have learned so many new things. I am pretty sure that this program will help me to grow my security skills, but also the research skills. What I mostly expect during my studies here is to grow my practical skills in CyberSecurity and online threads.
Scholarships offered by Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences is granted to most outstanding applicants with excellence in their academic and professional achievements. The scholarship covers the tuition fee for one year. After the first study year student can apply for the scholarship again.
For the academic year 2020/2021, there were received 3 applications for the scholarship offered by Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. In total 2 students were granted the scholarship.
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Since 2018, ViA has been implementing three new Master's degree programmes in English, which have been developed as part of the project "Development and Approbation of New Master's Programs for the Promotion of International Competitiveness of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences" (No.22.214.171.124 /18/A/011.) In total, five Master's degree programmes in English will be developed: "Media and Information Literacy", "Virtual Reality and Smart Technologies", "Cyber Security Engineering", "Strategic Communication and Governance" and a tourism study programme in cooperation with Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in Finland.
The total budget of the project is EUR 500 000, of which 85% is financed from the European Social Fund and 15% from the state budget of Latvia. The project will be implemented from April 2019 till November 2023 and is supported by the European Social Fund (ESF).