Oxford University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, is getting behind the fintech hype by launching an online short course into the technology.
Named Oxford Fintech, the course is offered by Oxford’s Said Business School and explores financial technology and innovation.
According to its website, the course has been designed to “equip you with the ability to identify opportunities for disruption in the financial services sector.” It aims to enable students to launch fintech ventures and harness technology to make financial services firms more efficient too.
Peter Tufano, the Peter Moores Dean and professor of finance at the school told Business Insider the course would analyse trends in the fintech sector including bitcoin, artificial intelligence and quantum computing and how these will affect financial services in the future.
The short course will begin on 9 October and run for 10 weeks, at a cost of £2,500.
Oxford has developed the course in partnership with Get Smarter, an online education company based in Cape Town and London, which works with leading universities to offer short courses.
The company was recently acquired by another education tech (edtech) startup, Giant 2U, for $103m.
It may seem like an interesting move by Oxford to get into fintech but has already been striding ahead in the space. Funding Circle, the peer-to-peer lending marketplace, was started by Oxford graduates and the Said Business school is looking to launch an incubator space that will encourage more fintech initiatives, amongst others, to launch in the city.
Gregg Bayes-Brown, marketing and communications manager at Oxford’s innovation lab, told Verdict:
“Rather than an interesting new trend, Said Business School’s course is more part of a continual and rapid evolution of our whole startup scene around the University.”
This is good news for the UK as it has designated itself as attempting to be the fintech capital of Europe. It has a wealth of startups working in this area from the likes of Atom Bank and Monzo, to new entrants including Cleo.
There were concerns after the UK voted to leave the European Union last year that this would lead to a slowdown in funding for new ventures in London.
However, according to research by Innovate Finance, the UK government subsidiary set up to represent and support fintech companies, venture capital funding was up 37 percent compared to last year’s figures, showing that the sector is still flourishing after Brexit.
Abdul Haseeb Basit, chief financial officer at Innovate Finance, said:
“We saw a period of uncertainty over the summer last year but I would say that by around the third quarter, things were starting to recover.”
If you’re interested in the course, the programme is now live and open for registrations. Participants can save £200 if they register and pay before 31 August.