Professor David W. K. YEUNG, Distinguished Research Professor and Head of the Department of Economics and Finance, stated that in developing the curriculum, “embracing the digital age” and “attaching equal importance to Economics and Finance” will be the two main directions, aiming at enhancing programme attractiveness and nurturing talents for the society and the financial industry in particular.

Professor YEUNG pointed out that the department offers two undergraduate programmes, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics, and Finance and Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in Financial Technology, both has its own uniqueness. The former is the only full-time economics and finance programme offered by self-financed universities in Hong Kong, while the latter is the first programme offered under the Government’s Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions (SSSDP) at HKSYU.

He said that as the financial sector changes rapidly and continuously, many transactions and services in the market are e-commerce related. Therefore, it is a major challenge for the department to fully master the development of financial technology and its marketing applications, while educating students on how to embrace these changes. Accordingly, the department sticks to two notions, ‘digital generation’ and ‘financial environment,’ in its review and development of course contents. In conception, courses to be added include Introduction to Digital Finance, Data Visualization in Finance and Economics, and Capstone Project. The curriculum will be enriched in four aspects, namely, digital technology, data analysis abilities, information technology, and communication technology.

Professor YEUNG says that the department is planning to establish a Fintech Development Centre. Cooperating with the Big Data Lab on campus, students can develop the ability to apply big data through practice. To widen the students’ horizons and enhance their employment competence, the department will continue to hold subject- and industry-related talks and workshops.

Apart from dedication to educating, faculty members in the Department of Economics and Finance have continued to launch research works actively for years. For example, the department has set up three research centres – the SRS Consortium for Advanced Study in Dynamic Cooperative Games, Business, Economic and Public Policy Research Centre, and Sustainable Real Estate Research Centre. They have also repeatedly received research grants from the Research Grants Council. For instance, Assistant Professor Dr. YUEN Wai Kee, who has substantial research experience in financial technology, received well in excess of HK$5 million in grants from the Inter-Institutional Development Scheme (2019/2020) of the Research Grants Council for launching the Evolution of Digital Entrepreneurship, FinTech and FinReg project. The Associate Head of the department, Dr. LEE Shu Kam, has recently received a subsidy from the Society for Truth and Light, launching the Research on the Immigration Intention and Living Conditions of Hong Kong Christians project.

In the past few years, the Department of Economics and Finance has strived to enhance employment competitiveness. For example, cooperating with the industry, the department has provided internship opportunities to students in both public and private institutions, including, for example, fintech companies (such as Alipay Financial Services (HK) Limited), financial groups, and social enterprises. Besides, the department has invited distinguished alumni to share their career experiences through workshops and interviews. One of the more recent ones was an interview with Mr. TAI Chi Wai, Chief Operating Officer of FWD Life Insurance Company Limited.

Going forward, Professor YEUNG indicated that the Masters and PhD programmes are expected to nurture a group of high-quality economists and financial professionals. “I also hope that the undergraduate programme can nurture students to practise the goal of ‘Govern and succour the people, financial benefit for the people,’ and contribute to society and economics” says Professor YEUNG.

Source:50th Anniversary Special Issue