Drawn from a range of public and private sector financial institutions across mainland China, a cohort of 160 students have just completed our Certificate in Digital Money (CIDM). For the first time ever, the CIDM course was offered in Mandarin and run in partnership with the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion at Renmin University (CAFI).
In 2017, CAFI conducted a lean training needs analysis and found huge potential to meet the market’s needs for digital financial services skills in China. This led to a strategic partnership between DFI and CAFI. Both organisations share a common mission of promoting digital financial inclusion through capacity building and research in the digital financial services sector. DFI’s platform and pedagogy were used by CAFI to offer DFI’s flagship course the ‘Certificate in Digital Money’ in Mandarin to a Chinese audience. The project was sponsored in full by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
There were two goals for the pilot course:
- provide access for Chinese professionals in digital financial services (both in the public and private sectors) to a hybrid, systematic course, with international sharing; and
- test the acceptance of the Chinese market to digital learning as a method of education.
Of the 172 students who were accepted and admitted to the course, 160 completed it, meaning that the cohort achieved an 80% pass rate. Students came from various backgrounds and professional roles, including people with community college certificates to several PhDs, and employees from private companies and government agencies. The initial pilot targets were to enrol 80 students and achieve a 70% completion rate and a 70% pass rate, all of which were significantly exceeded.
According to the final evaluation survey, 91% said that the course had opened their mind, and 89% reported that it filled their knowledge gap around digital money. In terms of learning on a digital platform, 46% of respondents had not taken an online course before, and reported that the experience was positive and enjoyable. 67.3% of students enjoyed the overall course learning experience. 98% indicated that they navigated easily on the platform and the students were highly satisfied with the class coaches.
The pilot course met all the objectives in respect of pass rates, recommendations, student satisfaction and gender splits. The course team of DFI and CAFI, based on the feedback and results, consider the pilot to be a very successful first attempt of penetrating the Chinese online education market with digital finance topics and are looking forward to the learnings that will be obtained in Cohort 2. Visa China have agreed to provide 100 scholarships to qualifying students from the public sector and the banking industry for Cohort 2. With the success of the marketing strategy for the first cohort, CAFI is aiming to have at least 200 admitted students.
As part of their participation in the course, students were asked to give feedback on what parts of the course worked and what they thought needed improvement. We’re happy to report that the overwhelming majority of the feedback was extremely positive, with 67% of students saying that they enjoyed the experience. We have collated some of the top takeaways in the below infographic.
CIDM is our foundational course on digital money and covers all aspects of the digital payments and digital financial services ecosystem and value chain. The course has been developed for professionals and organisations who wish to gain a holistic understanding of digital payments and emerging digital financial services, particularly those working to accelerate a financial inclusion agenda. The course also makes an excellent complement to organizational training and professional development goals, enabling individuals, teams and leaders to develop a stronger, more unified understanding of digital financial services.
The Certificate in Digital Money is a 12-week foundational course on digital money, covering all aspects of digital payments and digital ﬁnancial service. Learn more here.