Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
22 February 2022
ICT Minister Witnesses Signing Agreement with Ireland UCC within DEBI

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland via videoconference. The aim is to offer the learners of the Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI) an MA in Digital Cultures as a discipline in the Digital Arts program.

UCC was founded more than 170 years ago. It has been ranked 8th out of 1,000 universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, the only global table to assess universities against progress towards the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The agreement is one in a series of agreements concluded between DEBI and prestigious international universities, including Ottawa University in Canada, Ohio State University in the US, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in Korea, and Queen’s University in Canada.

Under the agreement, DEBI learners will have digital access to UCC student services. The courses cover 90 credit hours, delivered over one year divided into three semesters. The first batch of the study program is scheduled to start in March 2022, the second batch will begin in January 2023, the third in January 2024, and the last will complete the program by September 2024.

In his remarks during the signing ceremony, the ICT Minister highlighted that the new partnership with UCC is an added achievement to the accomplishments of DEBI. The partnership avails a diversified and comprehensive professional educational menu that covers five tracks of the most featured ICT fields that are most needed in today’s digital world. “DEBI students will be able to study in America, Asia, and today in Europe as well, from the Egyptian territories,” he said.

Talaat added, “Today’s agreement is not only the first signed with a European university but also the first in the track of Digital Arts - a very unique field that combines social and human sciences with innovative technologies. 

He stressed the importance of such collaboration to Egypt and the Egyptian youth, adding that it will contribute to DEBI objectives being fulfilled, mainly to “enrich the society with a well-educated and trained talent pool, not only to serve Egypt but the whole world, wherever qualified calibers are needed.”

For his part, the Ambassador of Ireland to Egypt Seán O Regan stated that the collaboration between DEBI and UCC is paramount, especially since it enables the exchange of culture and knowledge through applying technology and digital arts together. He added that the cooperation would help create unprecedented opportunities for young people in the two countries.

The Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Ireland Nazly El Fayoumy said she was pleased to witness the signing of the agreement between DEBI and UCC. The collaboration will help build the capabilities of DEBI students and create a skill pool in a new and vital discipline, namely Digital Cultures, she noted.

The Advisor to the ICT Minister for Technology Innovation, Electronics Industry, and Training Hossam Osman underlined that the collaboration with UCC will help boost the national digital transformation efforts through qualifying young Egyptians to carry out Digital Egypt projects.

UCC is the first European university to join the array of universities collaborating with DEBI, said the Advisor to the ICT Minister for Technological Talents Hoda Baraka, stressing the significance of the agreement. The partnership will allow DEBI students to obtain a degree in the Digital Cultures discipline, which combines fine and applied arts and technology, she added.

For his part, President of UCC John O'Halloran explained that under the agreement, UCC will offer a degree in Digital Cultures. The University will provide different mechanisms of e-learning, bringing Egyptian students closer to UCC, he added. O'Halloran underscored that the cooperation would help create a professional skill pool to serve the global market and fulfill the future goals of UCC and DEBI.

Officials from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), several professors of engineering and computer science, academic advisors to MCIT, and senior officials from UCC participated in the virtual signing ceremony.

DEBI was launched by MCIT as a free scholarship that targets top-performing graduates of national and private universities in Egypt, at the Faculty of Engineering, Computers and Information, Sciences (Mathematics, Computer or Statistics Departments), Applied Arts, Fine Arts, Economics, Business Administration, and Urban Planning, from different governorates. Students are selected based on specific admission criteria.

DEBI Spring 2022 Semester has already started. The Initiative is aimed at granting learners a master’s degree in one of the following majors: Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI); Cybersecurity; Robotics and Automation; Digital Architecture; Digital Arts; and Fintech; in collaboration with top-notch international universities.

MCIT, within DEBI, collaborates with several local and international companies specializing in ICT to help learners gain hands-on experience, as well as with leading companies and institutions to develop the students’ leadership, soft, and language skills.

The students of the first batch have presented their graduation projects. They will graduate next March and have completed their study at Ottawa University, majoring in AI and Data Science, Robotics and Automation, and Cybersecurity.

The first class of the batch that joined DEBI in the Fall 2021 Semester is pursuing its study at Queen’s University, in AI and Data Science. The second class of the same semester is studying AI and Data Science, Robotics and Automation, and Cybersecurity at Ottawa University.

Earlier this month, an orientation day was organized for the Fintech program’s newcomers, who will start pursuing their studies in March, where a job fair will also be held, targeting the graduates of the first batch.

For more information, please visit DEBI website, or call 15388.

Copyright Ministry of Communications and Information Technology 1999-2023. All rights reserved