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Driving Financial Literacy Amongst Students

UOW Malaysia KDU, in collaboration with Bursa Malaysia, Private Pension Administrator Malaysia (PPA), and Securities Industry Dispute Resolution Center (SIDREC) recently completed a pilot project aimed at increasing the capital market and financial literacy amongst students through creative utilisation of digital media and incorporation of out-of-the-box marketing and promotional strategies.

A competition was held at the end of the semester for students to exhibit their understanding of what they had learned in the 12-week course — the capital market ecosystem, the role of the respective stakeholders, and how they work together, through an awareness campaign proposal and subsequent video production. Students needed to showcase creative ways to promote saving and investing as well as highlight the need for retirement preparedness, and understand how to access SIDREC’s redress platform.

Out of 13 teams in the class, six were shortlisted to present their ideas to a panel of judges comprising A. A. Deepa, Vice-President of Investor & Channel Management for Securities Market, Bursa Malaysia, Husaini Hussin, CEO of PPA, Hong Siew Lai, Acting CEO of SIDREC, and Loo Chong Hang, Head of UOW Malaysia KDU’s SCCA. With a compelling proposal and an engaging video, three teams were selected and walked away with prizes worth a total of RM9, 000 sponsored by Bursa Malaysia, SIDREC and PPA.

“It was definitely a victorious moment when we heard the announcement that we had won the competition. We have poured a lot of work and effort into this, and it finally paid off. To be honest, it was tough at the very beginning of the competition as we realised that producing awareness videos were much harder than we thought. But after receiving immense guidance, motivation and impeccable advices from mentor Ms Angie, we pushed on and for this achievement, we will always be eternally grateful for,” said Ong Wei Chian, Group Leader of ‘Invest through Online, Earn your future, Save your time!’.

This pilot project is the first initiative of its kind in Malaysia to integrate elements of capital market and financial literacy into a university college’s undergraduate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) course. A series of lectures were conducted by Bursa Malaysia and PPA to provide students with a holistic understanding of the investment ecosystem, specifically capital markets, with the central theme of saving and investing for their future — through understanding how to trade on the stock exchange and saving with the Private Retirement Schemes (PRS). In addition to that, through SIDREC, students learnt how to seek redress should they run into trouble with their market intermediaries.

“Financial literacy should be embraced by all,” Husaini pointed out. “It begins during a person’s formative years and continues throughout one’s life all the way to retirement. Accentuating the importance of saving in students is, therefore, especially critical because they will carry this knowledge with them for the rest of their lives.”

“This will equip them with sufficient knowledge that would help them make proper financial decisions,” Husaini added. “I believe it is important for competitions like this to be organised to create awareness on the importance of financial literacy to ensure that they have a secured future. Not only will it educate the younger generation in terms of knowledge, but also build their confidence, sharpen their soft skills and allow them to explore their creativity which stimulates higher order thinking skills.”

“This collaboration with UOW Malaysia KDU, Bursa Malaysia and PPA has created an awareness for the SIDREC brand by reaching out to a younger target market,” said SIDREC’s Hong. “From an outreach perspective, our job at SIDREC is teaching the investor to be more empowered in that they have a redress platform to rely on if they have a complaint against their capital market intermediary. This will give them more confidence to invest in the various capital market products.”

This invigorating experience exemplified how interdisciplinary learning among different schools can enhance the importance of putting all their thoughts together, to form a theme, produce a video and a strategy plan to create awareness on capital markets and financial literacy awareness in a creative and compelling manner. Through the success of this pilot project, SCCA is hopeful that there will be more industry collaborations carried out to foster a peer-to-peer leaning environment and produce competent graduates and future global leaders to meet the industry demands.

This article was first published on the official website of UOW Malaysia KDU in 13 December 2020.