This year I had the pleasure of joining the “Huawei ICT Competition Global Finals” and it was exhilarating to be among so many enthusiastic students from around the world. It was such a great experience that I decided to share it with you through this vlog and blog.
First let me quickly explain why Huawei decided to develop this competition.
Availability of ICT talent is one of the major obstacles for companies and organizations to achieve their objectives. Especially in countries and regions where the economy is developing very fast, and new technologies are adopted even faster, the need for ICT talent is significant. Kenya, for example, has a GDP growth of 6% and is deploying new ICT at a very fast pace, but it lacks capabilities to implement and manage the technology. But it is not only in the developing countries where there is a lack of digital talent. In Europe the potential for ICT jobs by far exceeds the number of available ICT practitioners. According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, there will be a million more jobs available in computing than applicants who can fill them. So what can be done to quickly bridge this gap and create a worldwide abundance in ICT talent? While governments are generally responsible for education in their country, the enterprises are suffering most from a talent shortage. So shouldn’t enterprises do more to help stimulate more students to study ICT? Huawei certainly thinks so, which is why we created the “Global ICT Competition”, to create more awareness among students that studying ICT will provide an exciting and very bright future.
With a presence in over 170 countries Huawei can conveniently initiate programs that have a global impact. After successfully launching the ICT Competition in China in 2015, the following year we made it a global program, because we realized that the ICT talent gap exists everywhere in the world. Since 2015 the number of participating countries, universities and students has increased exponentially.
The Huawei ICT Competition is an extension of the Huawei ICT Academy, which establishes cooperation between Huawei and universities. The cooperation aims to improve the ICT education at the university through training of teachers, learning material, curriculum development, and so on. While all universities are welcome to participate in the ICT Competition, only the universities that participate in the ICT Academy program, or agree to enroll into the program, can advance to the finals.
The competition starts at the local level where students can register to participate and can join the university team. These teams participate in a national competition and the winners advance to the regional finals. The winners of the regional finals are then invited to the join the global finals in China.
The 2019 ICT Competition Global Finals took place on 25 and 26 May at the new Huawei campus in Dongguan, close to the Huawei HQ in Shenzhen. 49 teams from 30 countries travelled to Dongguan, each team consisting of 4 members either from different universities or all from the same university. On Saturday the teams worked for 8 hours on completing challenging tasks to demonstrate their ICT skills. Based on their preferences they could participate in either the Cloud Computing, Networking or Innovation track.
This year the tasks where particularly challenging as could be seen from the occasional expression of frustration from the participants. There was certainly significant pressure for the students to complete the tasks on time, and they had to dig deep in order to make it.
The next day was the award ceremony, but before the students would find out who the 2019 winners were there were encouraging speeches and a panel discussion with experts from around the world.
After the “formalities” were done it was time for the students to find out how well they performed the previous day. While the enthusiasm and excitement in the room continued to increase, the winners of the 3rd, 2nd and 1st prizes were invited to the stage to receive their award. Each winner was escorted by cheers and applause from everyone in the room, making it a true celebration of global happiness.
Of course there were prizes for the winners which consisted of a Huawei phone for all the prize winners and scholarships from universities in China and the UK for the 1st prize winners. Below is an overview of all the prize winners and participating universities.
It was an exciting event, with so many enthusiastic students from across the world simultaneously competing with each other and supporting each other. Next edition of the Huawei ICT Competition will kick-off soon with even more students from more different countries and universities participating, showing the world how exciting and rewarding it is to study ICT.