New TAU program prepares students for the cyber revolution - here's how

"When people think of cyber, they think of cyberattacks, but we are trying to break out of this outdated perception," says head of the new program Prof. Eviatar Matania.

A "Cyber Horse", made from thousands of infected computer and cell phone bits, is displayed at the entrance to the annual Cyberweek conference at Tel Aviv University, Israel June 20, 2016 (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
A "Cyber Horse", made from thousands of infected computer and cell phone bits, is displayed at the entrance to the annual Cyberweek conference at Tel Aviv University, Israel June 20, 2016
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
The Tel Aviv University (TAU) has launched a first of its kind international program that will allow students to combine politics, cyber and government studies in one academic program.
Identifying the growing role that cyber is playing and will continue to play in our rapidly-changing world, TAU has decided to create a platform that will allow curious students to begin exploring the intricate relationship between the cyber-digital revolution and other major fields of study including politics, society and economy. 
And while the new program was only launched as a small-scale pilot this year due to the limitations created by the coronavirus pandemic, it is expected to expand significantly next year.
Taught in English with minimal prior requirements, the people behind the new program are hoping to attract Master's students from abroad - and from various fields of expertise. 
"The Program is open to people with or without a technological background, because it aims to understand the non-technological sides of the cyber and digital worlds: modern economics, big data, artificial intelligence, cyber threats and cyber security, and the resulting changes in society, culture and politics," said Prof. Eviatar Matania, the person heading the program and former head of the Israel National Cyber Bureau. 
Prof. Matania further explained that students will be divided into sub-groups according to their specific interests in order to maximize gain and practical applications. 
As such, students with technological backgrounds who wish to deepen their understanding of the cyber-digital revolution and its broader aspects will be divided into one group; Students with backgrounds in management and political science interested in acquiring tools for managing large systems in the changing world will be divided into a second group; And students from various interfacing disciplines looking to broaden their knowledge or anchor their own research in the new trends created by the cyber-digital revolution will be divided into a third group.  
Prof. Matania noted that the program has already attracted many students from across the world.
"Israel is a global power in cyber, cyber-digital and artificial intelligence, and that is why students from all over the world, including the USA, China, India and leading European countries, are interested in our program," he explained.
Finally, the seasoned cyber professional offered potential students an insight into the mind-set that the new program aims to instil in its graduates. 
"When people think of cyber, they think of cyberattacks, but we are trying to break out of this outdated perception. Cyber is much more than attacks and security. It is the new economy and new politics and new culture and new society," he said. 
TAU's VP International, Prof. Milette Shamir, noted the importance and value in creating academic programs that allow Israelis and foreign students to come together and to generate "a unique dialogue between the local and the global."