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NTHU’s Online Course in Financial Management a Big Hit in Mainland China
Nowadays lots of university students in mainland China are keen to start their own businesses, resulting in the surging popularity of online financial management courses. Thus in February of this year when Prof. Che-chun Lin, Chair of NTHU’s Department of Quantitative Finance, launched a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Financial Management. It attracts more than 100,000 people in just six months.
 
Private enterprise and investment have become widespread in China over the past few decades. Add to this the practical approach of Lin’s Financial Management course and his inclusion of the "Taiwan experience”; it comes as no surprise that it has been highly praised by so many mainland students. This online course starts with the basics of financial statements and ratio analysis, and then moves into investment decisions and the internal management of a company, thereby helping students learn the most practical financial knowledge.
 
Many mainland students have said that the traditional Chinese characters and unfamiliar technical terms used in Taiwan are not a problem in learning Lin’s lectures, and that because Taiwan's accounting standards are more rigorous than those in the mainland, they are eager to continue to take such courses.
 
Lin said that thru his accumulated experience in teaching middle and high-ranking managers studying in NTHU’s EMBA and MBA programs, he realized that it is necessary to use simple language and lots of examples when explaining difficult theories. This also helps to make the topic more interesting and digestible for the students. This is another reason why his MOOC has been so well received. Lin's online curriculum also cites lots of Taiwanese news and current events, such as the financial reforms implemented by the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation when it was on the brink of bankruptcy a few years ago. Another example cited by Lin is the Taipei Regent’s capital reduction measures. In each case he discusses, Lin encourages students to think about the meaning behind the measures taken by an enterprise, and then try to propose their own alternative solutions.
 
In addition to being an inspiring teacher, Lin also has a lot of hands-on experience, making his classes highly popular. In light of Lin's financial management expertise, he has been appointed as the investment manager of the NTHU Endowment Fund, which has grown 8% since November 2014. As Lin sees it, studying investment and financial management doesn’t require a highly specialized background, so his MOOC is open to all who are interested in the subject. He says that even high school students can get something out of it. This course is also popular in Taiwan, where over 1,000 people have participated on the ShareCourse MOOC platform. Of these, more than half are full-time workers, followed by college students and graduate students; most have a background in science and technology, and their main purpose is to learn about investment and financial management.
 
Professor Che-chun Lin’s online course Financial Management is highly popular amongst budding entrepreneurs in mainland China.

Professor Che-chun Lin’s online course Financial Management is highly popular amongst budding entrepreneurs in mainland China.

Professor Che-chun Lin.

Professor Che-chun Lin.

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