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​NTU launches innovative platform-based learning in Banking and Finance with Singapore’s largest finance lab

Published on: 15-Sep-2014

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today launched its new platform-based learning initiative in Banking and Finance by setting up the largest finance lab in Singapore.

Platform-based learning is a new pedagogical approach at NTU’s Nanyang Business School that prepares students entering the banking and finance sector to be industry-ready, enhancing their employability in the industry’s high-value added sectors.

The new 165 square metre lab at Nanyang Business School is equipped with the industry’s top data analysis tools, such as Bloomberg Professional and Thomson Reuters’ Eikon and Datastream. There are 60 dedicated Thomson Reuters Eikon terminals with Datastream, the most in any training facility in Singapore. In addition, 24 Bloomberg terminals are available for business school students to access all kinds of real-time financial, economic and business news information.

In platform-based learning, NTU’s business and finance students will acquire the skills to apply financial knowledge through performing market analytics and generating insights for decision making on Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters terminals. These machines are used by financial analysts, traders and investors across the world to obtain and analyse ‘live’ and historical data on financial instruments, such as stocks, bonds and currencies, as well as managing investment portfolio and offering advice.

The new lab is called the Centre for Applied Financial Education (CAFE). The Centre represents the school's latest innovation to enhance business education by offering a unique experiential learning environment, where students acquire insights, experiences, skills and broad industry knowledge through platform based learning.

Student-generated reports for finance industry

As part of the curriculum, students will publish a monthly group report analysing a current economic or financial market issue, such as the US Federal Reserve’s policy outlook or investments in a particular sector. In addition, graduating students will each publish an in-depth report on a pertinent issue in global financial markets, an industry segment, or an investment strategy. All these will be shared with banks, brokerages and other investors, with the aim of providing insightful and relevant analyses and ideas to the market place.

Students will also go on internships at select financial institutions, which will provide further hands-on experience on using the platforms and expose them to issues of market interest. 

Undergraduate platform-based courses will start in January 2015 with an initial batch of 50 second-year students. Several postgraduate courses have been conducted since August.

Dr Ravi Kumar, Shaw Chair Professor and Dean of Nanyang Business School said, “Teaching core financial concepts through the use of industry-standard platform tools will ensure that the Nanyang Business School graduate is ready to plug and play, well equipped to apply his knowledge relevantly in the market place.

“Platform-based learning complements the high learning efficiency at Nanyang Business School. Our students already graduate with a strong bedrock of knowledge and technical competence in the shortest time among business schools in Singapore – whether the three-year direct honours undergraduate programmes or the 12-month Nanyang MBA. Through NTU’s Centre for Applied Financial Education, they will gain a competitive edge and hit the ground running when they start work, without the need for orientation in these essential tools.”

Industry stalwarts to lead NTU’s Centre for Applied Financial Education

Heading the platform-based learning initiative is Associate Professor Lee Boon Keng, who is also the Director of CAFE. Dr Lee joined NTU earlier this year from Bank Julius Baer in Singapore, where he was Managing Director and the Head of Investment Solutions Group. Prior to Bank Julius Baer, Dr Lee was Chief Investment Strategist in Wealth Management at UBS, Singapore. Before that, he was the market strategist in Global Financial Markets and Private Banking at DBS Bank.

CAFE is guided by an advisory council comprising senior leaders of Singapore’s banking and finance sector. The council will meet once a year and advise the centre on how it can stay aligned to current market trends, issues and needs of the industry.

Advisory council member Mr Tan Chin Hwee, Partner at Apollo Global Management said, “Ready proficiency in the tools of the trade will give NBS students a head-start in their careers as they are able to contribute and generate value for the financial institutions that employ them ahead of those less familiar with these platforms.

“This programme provides a unique journey for us at the advisory committee to shape a sustainable and respected vocation in the financial industry teaching practical core skill-sets while not forgetting about ethics,” added Mr Tan, who is also an adjunct professor at Nanyang Business School.

CAFE Advisory Council Members (in alphabetical order by surname):
1. V Arivazhagan, Managing Director and Head of Products, DBS Bank
2. Lim Chong Soon, Director - IT Services, KPMG Singapore
3. Lim Chow Kiat, Group Chief Investment Officer, GIC
4. David Lim, Chief Executive Officer Singapore and Head of Private Banking South East Asia, Bank Julius Baer
5. Tan Chin Hwee, Partner, Apollo Global Management
6. Ronny Tan, Former Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank


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Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

For more information, visit 

About Nanyang Business School

Consistently ranked among the world’s premier business schools, we have been nurturing leaders for business and public service, advancing global management knowledge and practice for over 50 years. Being fully integrated into Nanyang Technological University, we draw on the strengths of one of Asia’s most comprehensive research-intensive universities to provide holistic, interdisciplinary business education. We believe that responsible leadership in business and government is crucial to securing a sustainable future for our world. Through teaching and research, we groom leaders who pursue lasting success that seeks not only economic profit but also the interests of the community and environment.

For more information, please visit

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