Professor in Cyber Security: – Online activities are not without risk

– Most individuals are not equipped to protect themselves, says professor Johan Van Niekerk.

Professor Johan Van Niekerk will teach on the newly approved Bachelor in Cyber Security starting at Noroff – School of Technology and Digital Media this fall. He explains why Cyber Security is such an important subject today:

– Humans are increasingly integrating various aspects of our digital activities into our day-to-day lives. Nowadays we learn online, transact online, entertain ourselves online, navigate with the aid of online resources, and much more. Unfortunately, these activities do not come without risk and most individuals are not equipped to protect themselves, their families, or their workplaces against these risks.

– Cyber Security helps us to understand and to mitigate these risks.

Van Niekerk is moving from South Africa and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and is exited to start his new job as professor in Cyber Security in Kristiansand.

– I am very excited about the way lectures are livestreamed and physically presented at the same time. I have a strong interest in various pedagogical models used for blended and online learning, and look forward to applying my skills in an environment where online and traditional models are so closely integrated, says the professor.

Cyber Security professor Johan Van Niekerk
Cyber Security professor Johan Van Niekerk made the move from South Africa to Norway this fall.

– What will you bring to the Noroff students?

– I have a diverse background and skillset. My specialities include Cyber Security, Software Development, Artificial Intelligence, Serious Games, and Online Learning. I will also be able to provide students with a very different perspective since many of the problems we face today is experienced in a different way in the African context.

– I believe exposure to different viewpoints is a very important aspect of a balanced education, the professor says.

The newly appointed professor says he loves teaching:

– I believe private institutions like Noroff are capable to respond to the changing dynamics of education in today’s digital world much faster than larger more traditional universities. As such, the quality of teaching at these private universities are often of a higher quality than that found elsewhere.

– I love being a teacher and I believe the educational model at Noroff will enable me to be the best teacher I can be, Van Niekerk says.