UCT has launched a ‘massive open online course’ examining the rise of fintech companies, the technology that enabled them and the regulation needed in an emerging market environment.
The four-week course is being offered on Coursera, an online learning platform, which has 33 million users.
The course is being taught by Dr Co-Pierre Georg, an associate professor at the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management, who said that the course aligns with institute’s aims of equipping people with the necessary skills to make meaningful contributions to the financial industry.
“We asked ourselves how we could make fintech inclusive, how this knowledge regarding a new area of industry can work for everyone – not just the early adopters. This is what drove us to develop the course. We want to provide education around the topic for South Africa and the world,” he said.
The nature of a massive open online course is to make education available to a broader audience, Georg said. Participants can study in their own time without having to travel to a university to attend lectures or write exams
The African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management is a postgraduate teaching and research institute and is part of the Faculty of Commerce at UCT. It focuses on quantitative finance, risk management and financial technology offering three Master’s degrees and several online short courses directed at working professionals.
The online course is a collaborative effort between it and UCT’s Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching.
The course is titled Financial regulation in emerging markets and the rise of fintech companies and is open to everyone, there are no entry requirements – just an interest in this exciting field. Financial aid is available to cover the cost of the course, UCT said.
“It will be of benefit to students, entrepreneurs, professionals in the financial services or fintech industries and anyone who wants to join the trailblazers and movers and shakers in the fintech revolution,” Georg said.
The course analyses the causes and repercussions of major financial crises such as the great depression of 1929 and the global crisis of 2008.
It also explains new technologies, including blockchain, which have fuelled the emergence of fintech companies around the world.
Participants will gain insight into the new regulatory environment, globally and in emerging markets.
The new course forms part of a new fintech push by UCT, which launched South Africa’s first fintech degree – a Master of Data Science with a specialisation in Financial Technology – for the first time in January 2018.
The university followed up with the launch of a three-day fintech short course at the UCT GSB (Graduate School of Business) in March 2018, which focused on helping people working in financial planning, auditing, governance, risk and compliance positions to prepare for the changes resulting from the new technologies.