- The University-wide initiative for over 3,400 students aims to help equip young adults with skills in Financial Emotional Resilience
- Impact assessment found that students demonstrated increased ability to manage emotions while making financial decisions, and were more confident in managing their finances
Findings from a TODAY survey conducted in 2022 and the National Youth Dialogue on Budget 2023 found that the rising cost of living is seen as a main concern amongst Singapore’s youth today. Against this background, the Centre for Future-ready Graduates at the National University of Singapore (NUS CFG), NUS’ dedicated career centre, together with PlayMoolah, a local company equipping young adults to use money as a tool for a flourishing life, have responded with a strategy to equip NUS students with financial emotional resiliency skills as they prepare to enter the real world.
The financial wellbeing programme at NUS consists of two online courses which provide students with training in essential financial planning and investing skills. Building on this, students also learn practical skills in mental and emotional aspects of money management. This goes further than conventional Financial Literacy courses and trainings, which focus mainly on hard skills, tools, and techniques associated with personal finance management.
NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye, said, “This initiative in building the foundational aspects of financial management prepares young adults with an important life skill that will have lasting effects.”
“This skill will set them up with the know-how for personal and professional success as they meet the challenges of a disruptive future. We have invested in such a programme first, here at NUS, because we see the importance of equipping our students early on in their learning journey to build the confidence for good financial management.”
Co-Founder of PlayMoolah Miss Audrey Tan, shared, “We see Financial Emotional Resilience (FER) as a skill that enables one to regulate their emotions, develop mental habits, and adapt daily money practices for healthy financial decision-making. We are delighted that NUS CFG has taken the lead in effecting this life skill through the financial wellbeing programme at a University-wide level to impact students early on in their financial journey.”
The first course in the financial wellbeing programme, ‘Financial Wellbeing − Introduction’, was launched at NUS in August 2022, where students were able to acquire fundamentals of money management and Financial Emotional Resilience (FER). In an impact assessment of the introduction course conducted by Kantar Public, three dimensions comprising Financial Knowledge, Emotions and Resilience were used as a proxy measure for FER. NUS students saw an overall improvement in their FER scores after the completion of the course, with improvements mostly in their knowledge and proficiency in financial management practices and habits. They also scored higher, after the course, around how they feel being in control of their financial situation, managing their emotions when making financial decisions, and having more confidence while managing their finances.
Ansel Lim, a first-year undergraduate student from NUS Chemistry, shared, “The course was well put together, very beginner-friendly, and it provided a great overall introduction to investing. Through this course, I realised investing is a systematic yet dynamic process where one should be emotionally resilient while adaptive to market changes. Learning how to rationally evaluate the value of stocks through qualitative and quantitative approaches was the biggest takeaway for me.”
These affirmative sentiments were also emphasised by Seah Jie Hui, a first-year undergraduate from NUS Geography, “I appreciate the guidance related to more intangible steps on investing, such as building up my emotional resilience and my attitudes towards money. This has made the course a holistic one, which I was not expecting, but really appreciate.”
As part of the financial wellbeing programme, NUS commissioned PlayMoolah to develop a second course, ’The Art and Science of Investing’, which was launched by NUS in January 2023. This course covers the fundamental principles of investing, risk tolerance, and how to regulate emotions in response to the inevitable volatilities in the financial markets.
The two courses in the financial wellbeing programme, developed in partnership between NUS-CFG and PlayMoolah will continue to be offered to all undergraduate and postgraduate students in the coming academic year, commencing August 2023.
For more details of the financial wellbeing programme at NUS, please visit: https://nus.edu.sg/cfg/students/career-ready/soft-skills/financial-wellbeing.
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