Financial Talent Ripens through NPUST Sprout Project

The NPUST International Bachelor’s Program in Finance (IBF) has created a micro-course that is forging financial talent with incredible effectiveness. The special interdisciplinary program, which focuses on “Finance Technology and Finance Data Mining”, was created as part of the MOE Higher Education Sprout Project – and in two years’ time the course has already been used to hone the talent and test the mettle of over 100 students from such departments as International Finance, Information Management, Vehicle Engineering, Business Administration, Veterinary Medicine and Aquaculture.

Students in the in the micro-course have a shown a real knack for competition – and this year they made some considerable waves at the “2020 National College AI FinTech Innovation and Creativity Competition” hosted by the AI FinTech Association and Taiwan University. Among the 154 teams of competitors, 14 teams (47 persons) from the interdisciplinary micro-program at NPUST made it to the finals; representing a staggering 45% of the creativity group, in which they won the second and third place prizes and innovation group, in which they also took the bronze. An additional 4 groups went home with “excellence awards” and NPUST was further honored be given the “team award”.

Remarking on the outcome, NPUST’s President Chang-Hsien Tai expressed that “while carrying out the Ministry of Education Sprout Project, NPUST has been putting special emphasis on interdisciplinary research and education. In recent years, it has created over forty interdisciplinary teams which have had considerable results in a variety of fields. We can see how the teams from the “Finance Technology and Finance Data Mining” program have matured through the two-year training processes and how the close cooperation by teachers from different areas of expertise is creating a win-win situation for our school.”

The IBF director, Rern-Jay Hung, explained that the micro-program includes courses on financial technology, financial data mining and practice in blockchain. The team of instructors is composed of three faculty members from the IBF and the Department of Information Systems. Through lectures and discussions, practical teaching, hands-on practice, industry visits, certification tutoring, and competitions we have been working to cultivate real talent in financial technology.” Hung added that in “in the past two years we have had 21 teams take part in various completions, and ten teams have won awards – one team even winning a prize of 100,000 NTD. The IBF is very grateful for the support it has received from the university president as well as the instruction provided by Assoc. Professor Min-Hua Shao of the Department of Information Systems”.

The IBF officially opened for enrollment in 2015 with “internationalization”, English proficiency, and voluntary short-term internships serving as the most important features of the program. The number of seats available each offering is very limited; and so far, about 20% of the Taiwanese students enrolled have had overseas practical research or exchange experience. Student performance has been excellent, and for their work they have won two excellence awards at the 2018 AIT Business Writing Contest, the championship title at both the 2018 and 2019 English Presentation Competition for Universities in Southern Taiwan, awards at both the 2018 and 2019 National English Speech Competition for University Students and the SDGs Youth Advocacy Competition, and the championship prize at the 2019 National College Wealth Management Competition. Four students were also selected to take part in overseas internships with international banks and the course has received considerable attention from newspapers and media for its successes.