Just weeks after emerging on the Times Higher Education top 30 universities in the sub-Saharan region, Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) has come out champions at a Southern Africa regional cyber security competition.
The competition, Cyber 9/12, was organized by the Atlantic Council, hosted by University of Cape Town, held between August 18 and 19 and attracted teams from the SADC member countries.
Showing its prowess, a team comprising students in Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems and Security at MUST, ensured the university was declared champions for three consecutive years.
While last year the university was represented by three teams, this year only one team of Alex Imani (Year 4), Craig Mdokhwe (Year 3), Max Mkutumula (Year 4) and Maudy Chibanda (Year 4), was allowed to participate.
Coach of the team and lecturer, Allan Chongwe, said despite the win, they faced tough competition, especially from universities that brought postgraduate students.
“By looking at the fact that this is the third time we are champions of this competition, people may think it was a walk over. It wasn’t. And people may also think that because last year we made it to the US for the global competition then we had an advantage, no.
“The fact is that all students who participated in the previous competitions finished their studies and this was a new team without any experience in the competition,” said Chongwe.
In reaction, MUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Address Malata congratulated the team for putting the university on the map.
“As a university with a global perspective, this is what we should be doing. The position only emphasizes the relevance of our programmes at that level. I encourage our faculty and students to join such competitions and test their skills and knowledge,” said Professor Malata.
To emerge champions, MUST beat teams such as Cyber Ninjas (Tshwane University of Technology), Cybertrons (University of Cape Town), Team NUST (Namibia University of Science and Technology), VSR (University of Cape Town), DDS05 (University of the Western Cape), UNESWA (University of Eswatini), Powerpuff Girls (University of the Western Cape), CyberChicks (University of Cape Town), Tshwane University of Technology, and Innovative Visionaries (Botswana Accountancy College), who made it into the top 10. Many more others did not make it.
While the Atlantic Council funded the team’s air tickets, the university, through Directorate of Research and Outreach, and the Skills for a Vibrant Economy (SAVE) project at MUST supported with upkeep and other requirements.