Lingnan’s Master of Science in International Banking and Finance gives students an in-depth knowledge of the financial industry and a global perspective.
In today’s dynamic economic environment, cross-border business and investment plays an increasingly important part.
“For this reason, international banking and finance services will continue to grow significantly,” says Dr Kent Lai Wan-lung, managing director of the Master of Science in International Banking and Finance (MIBF) offered at Lingnan University. This, though, also means that Hong Kong should remain a key centre for global finance in the coming decades thanks to its reputation for efficiency, its strong infrastructure and geographical position.
“The industry will undergo great changes as it will increasingly rely on technology to improve efficiency and accuracy,” Lai says. “Also, clients will demand more comprehensive and tailored services.”
While some financial services related to mainland investment will no longer be exclusively available in Hong Kong, Lai believes the city still has a unique role to play.
“As long as China continues to uphold a system and practices that are significantly different from the West, there will always be room for Hong Kong to serve as the middleman,” he says.
Besides professional knowledge and ability to deal with clients, a global outlook is now a prerequisite for anyone looking to succeed in the field. That is where the Master of Science in International Banking and Finance programme comes in.
The curriculum covers a broad spectrum of topics and is taught in a multicultural environment. Students can benefit from internships and overseas study tours, and the department has generously set aside over HK$1 million for scholarships and allowances to subsidise membership of professional bodies.
“Graduates walk away with a strong sense of professional ethics and global citizenship, as well as a deep understanding of the legal and regulatory environment governing the industry,” Lai says.
To prepare students for real-world challenges, the Master of Science in International Banking and Finance programme offers a relatively fluid curriculum.
“The financial industry wants staff to possess a broad skill-set and to be able to apply interdisciplinary knowledge,” says Lai.
The 20 courses cover topics ranging from corporate finance and macroeconomics to accounting, risk management and derivatives. There is also a careful balance between theoretical and practical aspects.
Regular seminars see industry experts invited to share their insights about investment banking, private equity, venture capital, brokerage operations, fintech and more. According to recent graduates, this practical, up-to-date knowledge can make a big difference when it comes to job hunting.
Students have to complete at least one course in each of five core clusters - corporate finance, international, investment, financial institutions, and quantitative. They need a minimum 30 credits to graduate.
Those who want to go on to a research degree typically find the Master of Science in International Banking and Finance a good stepping stone, and options are also available to combine the programme with one in France, Spain, Switzerland or Britain to obtain a dual master’s qualification.
Lessons lasting a lifetime
“Graduates are known for having good communication and teamwork skills, which are essential for working effectively in the banking and finance sector, government departments or international organisations,” Lai says.
A recognised first degree in a relevant field is the usual prerequisite for admission, but other applicants will also be given due consideration.
“Those with diverse background and experience will always be considered, but may be asked to take pre-programme courses,” says Lai.
The MIBF Programme is offered by a strong host, Lingnan’s Department of Economics, which is ranked third among all Economics Departments in Hong Kong in terms of the highest world- leading quality research*. Lingnan University is named a Top-10 Liberal Arts Colleges in Asia by Forbes, and in the list of QS Asia Top 100 Universities in 2018.
*Research Assessment Exercise conducted by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council in 2014.