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nku SANGU Partnership Announcement

Nov. 9, 2022 - Northern Kentucky University is entering into a partnership with St. Andrews Georgian University (SANGU) in Tbilisi, Georgia, that establishes a dual-degree master’s program in cybersecurity for students of the Georgian university. 

The grand opening event for the program was held in Tbilisi on November 3. Making remarks at the program were United States Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan, and, remotely from the JRG Cyber Threat Intelligence Lab in NKU's Griffin Hall, NKU President Ashish Vaidya and dean of the NKU College of Informatics Dr. Kevin Kirby. 

"This is an area that we know is of great importance for all of our countries," said Ambassador Degnan at the event, "and we are happy to see this collaboration between St. Andrews and Northern Kentucky Universities." 

To earn this dual degree, students will complete 30 credit hours in NKU’s accelerated online cybersecurity program followed by 30 additional credit hours in person at SANGU. Students will also spend two-to-three weeks at NKU’s Highland Heights campus to learn from NKU faculty and visit area businesses, while NKU faculty members will also spend two-to-three weeks in Tbilisi to teach and interact with students. The first cohort begins classes in January 2023. 

"This program is clearly a high priority for Georgia," said Dean Kirby, who traveled to Tbilisi in May to help initiate the program, along with Dr. François LeRoy, director of NKU's Center for Global Engagement and International Affairs, and Dr. Maureen Doyle, chair of NKU's Computer Science Department. "We met with the Georgian Minister of Science and Education, U.S. Embassy staff, and the most prominent Archbishop of the Georgian Orthodox Church. It was seen as a national security issue." 

In this partnership, NKU leverages its status as a National Security Agency - Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense Education to internationalize its programs in the broader context of defending democracy. This is especially important given the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia and now occupies two Georgian territories. 

“NKU is delighted to partner with SANGU to collaboratively address challenges, provide opportunities for students to further their education, and make a positive impact on the world,” NKU President Ashish Vaidya said. “NKU has long been a leader in cybersecurity and our commitment to the field reflects the needs of our community, this nation and the world.” 

For more information on NKU’s effort to engage on a global level, visit the website of the Center for Global Engagement and International Affairs.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit