UCT''s new MOOC makes fintech more accessible

UCT has launched a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the rise of fintech and fintech regulation in emerging markets that will broaden the number of people able to access knowledge and expertise in this fast-growing new field.

UCT has launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) 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.

Dr Co-Pierre Georg, Associate Professor at the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM), teaches the course. He feels it aligns with AIFMRM’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 MOOC. We want to provide education around the topic for South Africa and the world,” he says.

The nature of a MOOC is such that it makes education available to a broader audience, according to Associate Professor Georg. Participants can study in their own time without having to travel to a university to attend lectures or write exams.

AIFMRM 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 MOOC is a collaborative effort between AIFMRM and UCT’s Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT).

Speaking at the launch of the MOOC, CILT Director Laura Czerniewicz said, “Coursera had a call for proposals in fintech, and we are honoured to have been chosen to work in this area. We had something original to contribute in terms of emerging markets. This MOOC is an ideal way to engage with fast-movers and new developments in the industry. It offers an intense, short, flexible way of getting to grips with a new field.”