Today, we are pleased to announce that Cisco will begin a new relationship with the Universidad de las Ciencias Informaticas (UCI) of Cuba, with the intention of bringing the Cisco Networking Academy program to UCI students.
Networking Academy is an IT skills and career building program for learning institutions and individuals worldwide. It is the first program of its kind to launch in Cuba since restoration of diplomatic relations in December 2014. As part of the Letter of Intent signed by Cisco and UCI, Cisco intends to donate equipment and to provide a grant to train initial instructors at UCI and provide the necessary operational support.
I had the pleasure of visiting Cuba in the fall of 2015. The people were welcoming and warm, and excited about the opportunity to collaborate. Like every country, every city, and every business around the world, Cuba is approaching the challenge of digitizing its economy as an opportunity for its country and its citizens. I met with the UCI leadership team, and their work to accelerate technology-based startups and incubate software applications was impressive.
UCI is a leading national university specializing in software development, key to the digitization of Cuban society. Their mission is to train professionals who are committed to their homeland and highly qualified in the field of computer science. This corps of IT professionals will produce applications and services that are foundational to building Cuba’s technology industry.
It can’t be overlooked that two years ago, Cisco Networking Academy and UCI could not have formed this partnership, which is based on a mutual ambition to make technology education accessible to any student who wants to learn. Digitization is creating a need for true partnerships to solve technology challenges quickly and effectively.
Cisco Networking Academy aims to improve the IT and career skills of millions of people around the world. We accomplish this by delivering our curriculum through partnerships with government agencies; social benefit organizations; and academies in schools, colleges, universities, and communities centers. Over 1 million students worldwide participated in the Cisco Networking Academy program in 2015.
We are proud of the impact that Networking Academy has on students’ lives. In exit surveys of students completing courses through Cisco CCNA 4 or higher, over 90 percent of respondents reported that participating in Networking Academy led to job or educational opportunities including a new job, a better job or promotion, increased responsibilities, deciding on a program of study, or pursuing more education. Also, 94% indicated that the skills they learned were important for their jobs.
We are confident that our partnership with UCI will impact students’ lives in the country and will ultimately result in higher employment opportunities.