October 21, 2020

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HKU and ASTRI partner to nurture FinTech talent

The University of Hong Kong (HKU), on 14 September 2020, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) to jointly cultivate future FinTech talents. The Commissioner for Innovation and Technology witnessed the signing ceremony at the University of Hong Kong.

Under the agreement, HKU’s Department of Computer Science from the Engineering Faculty and ASTRI will together develop the Technology Oriented Practitioner (TOP) programme, a Work-Study Scheme for first-year students enrolled on the MSc programme in FinTech and Data Analytics at HKU, with ASTRI providing paid full-time employment for up to 30 students for a nine-month period and assigning them to one of ASTRI’s many ongoing FinTech projects, such as a smart credit assessment that helps SMEs secure loans or an AI-driven data analytics platform that empowers more effective risk management, keeping our society safer and smarter.

The Dean of HKU Engineering stated that FinTech is one of the fastest-growing areas in businesses today. The university recently launched a Bachelor’s degree in Financial Technology [(BASc (FinTech)] and a brand-new interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Financial Technology and Data Analytics for 2021, designed to nurture financial technologists and entrepreneurs with essential knowledge in both finance and technology.

Through the Work-Study Scheme, HKU students can gain practical experience, understand the latest technological developments in the industry and the requirements of the market, and be better prepared to contribute to the development of the FinTech industry in Hong Kong and the region.

The Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI stated that the agency is fully committed to building a bridge of talent between academia and the industry and are thrilled to be offering this opportunity to future talent in Hong Kong to gain invaluable work experience at such a crucial part of their studies.

Being a world-leader in FinTech is vital to Hong Kong’s future success and a crucial aspect of the role it plays in the Greater Bay Area, making the most of the city’s unique advantages. ASTRI is, therefore, thrilled to be making such an important contribution to the development of future talent.

The TOP programme is among ASTRI’s many commitments to developing talent in the I&T sector, particularly FinTech. Working with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, ASTRI launched the FinTech Career Accelerator Scheme in 2016, aiming to cultivate the future talent necessary to sustain Hong Kong’s banking, finance and business services, as well as preserving our city’s competitiveness as an international finance hub.

Students receive an internship at financial institutions or technology companies and in the past four years, more than 500 have taken part. This year, the HKMA received more than 1,400 applications, nearly twice as many as last year.

The ASTRI University Advisory Council (AUAC) has partnered with top universities in Hong Kong to harness knowledge and nurture talent through strategic collaboration with students, providing them with hands-on experience.

Earlier this month, ASTRI launched it’s Graduate Programme 2020, providing full-time employment to graduates and an opportunity to work closely with its award-winning researchers. ASTRI also offers a three-month blockchain accelerator programme, in partnership with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and Molecular Hub, as well as summer internships, which took in 42 students from 15 universities across the world in 2020.