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Focus on China, Islamic banking

Diploma in Global Finance
Chinese University

Professor Leslie Young, programme director of the Chinese University of Hong Kong's postgraduate diploma in global finance (PDGF), says the course's content follows current issues in finance and focuses on lessons from the 2008 financial crisis.

PDGF, which is offered by the Asia-Pacific Institute of Business, is not centred on textbooks but driven by current events, Young says, adding that the programme explores the challenges and opportunities opened up by the financial crisis. It aims to enhance participants' understanding of industry trends and to develop their critical thinking.

"PDGF trains students to apply financial and management theories to real-world problems. Graduates are expected to become well-rounded in banking knowledge and skills," Young says.

As a global finance programme, PDGF offers overseas trips. For example, students can visit Shanghai to learn about China finance. Topics on the country's macroeconomics as well as globalisation, internal conflict resolution, and corporate decision-making will be discussed. There will also be meetings with the Chinese financial industry's regulators and players.

Another option is to visit the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance in Kuala Lumpur.

"Islamic finance is a fresh topic for local students and the interaction between Islamic and local students is going to be fruitful and interesting," Young adds.

In Kuala Lumpur, students will learn the framework of Islamic finance, including commercial contracts and financial transactions. They will study the history of and current trends in Islamic banking, deposit products, retail and enterprise financing, Islamic bank's balance sheet and income statement, bank risk management, and capital management.

The programme is now in its third year and has received positive feedback from the industry, says Young. It was initially launched exclusively to train the staff of a specific bank, but with its rising popularity, it has been expanded to other banks.

"The programme targets banking and financial service professionals who seek to advance to executive positions," Young says. "At first, we worked with Credit Suisse to offer training in global finance for its management staff. Credit Suisse sees the programme as a way of enhancing employee loyalty and finding outstanding performers. Seeing the great success with Credit Suisse, we have opened the programme to all banks and financial institutes for application."

Applicants should have a bachelor's degree from a recognised university, preferably with work experience in finance. Letters of recommendation and academic achievements are also assessed. To fit the students' busy schedule, classes are arranged in a block of four full days - Friday to Monday - every three to four months. It takes 15 months to complete the course.