Primary challenge owner: Hogeschool Utrecht

Secondary challenge owner(s): Hanzehogeschool, Fontys


Cybersecurity is an increasingly important theme in higher education and beyond. This is driven by society’s increasing dependence on IT and reinforced by a growing digital threat. The education sector is not keeping up with the rapid developments in cyber security. Furthermore, there is not enough manpower to keep the existing educational material up to date. For example, in December 2021, a vulnerability in ‘log4j’ was revealed that required an immediate update in about a quarter of all web servers worldwide. But how do you translate such a development to an educational program?

It is expected that annually 10,000 MBO and HBO students in the Netherlands will receive education on cyber security. Experience shows that ‘gamified cybersecurity’ education – for example through ‘Capture the Flag’ (CTF) and Attack/Defence games – is a very effective way of education.

Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and The Hague University of Applied Sciences have previously developed a pilot with the use of However, when developing ‘gamified cybersecurity’ using existing educational technology, we see that commercial providers give institutions little control over the learning experience. The education sector needs a Learning Management System for Cybersecurity with CTFs for the entire education sector in the Netherlands and beyond.

This way of educating includes the development, teaching and testing of teaching materials, as well as the continuous evaluation of their relevance, efficiency and effectiveness. Lecturers from various education levels work on this together. This collaboration is desirable and necessary in order to keep cyber security courses up to date. This method of cooperation was successfully piloted in a school competition for secondary education that ran in 2021 and 2022. However, it is proving very difficult to manage facilities from various schools and colleges.


The question/ the challenge to startups

Develop or contribute to a digital solution that enables teachers and students sector-wide to develop and implement cybersecurity education in co-creation.



  • The ownership of the educational resources developed and the rights to the usage data lie as far as possible with the educational institutions, or a consortium to be set up by them.
  • Links to relevant systems (e.g. student administration), as much as possible in accordance with HORA (Higher Education Reference Architecture).
  • Privacy safeguards. Hosting in EU/NL is desirable.

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