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Breaking news for students ...

Come next year, at least seven public universities would be offering their students a course on managing money.

Undergraduates will be taught good habits towards money, among others.

New Straits Times - Student spending: Money matters
9 December, 2007 by Nurjehan Mohamed

Undergraduates have everything to gain, says Mohamed Akwal.

This is part of the efforts of Bank Negara’s Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (or AKPK, its Malay acronym) to educate people about their finances.

“We believe that with better education, there would be a lower debt problem,” says AKPK chief executive officer Mohamed Akwal Sultan.

Many of the agency’s clients are those in their 30s or 40s though the problems start much earlier.

“In their 20s, people are just starting out and may still have the financial backing of their parents, with no families or houses of their own,” he says.

As such, they may not be as concerned about money management.

This is why making university students aware of their finances before they go out into the working world is important.

The course prescribed by AKPK has been approved by the Ministry of Higher Education but it is still up to the individual universities to decide on whether they wish to take it up or not and on how they will implement it.

The module, which AKPK developed with the help of financial coach Carol Yip, covers good behaviour and habits towards money; finance and debt management skills; and how to identify your financial path, among others.

Universities have nothing to lose, whether they implement it as a compulsory or optional course, on its own or as part of the entrepreneurial programme that students already have. Undergraduates have everything to gain.

“We cannot change the mindsets of the students but if we can open their minds to what is out there and what they should be cautious about, that is good enough.”

The main objective of the course is to tell people to live within their means and have savings for emergencies and retirement.

“We hope that more public universities would opt to include this programme and we plan to expand it to private universities and colleges later too,” says Mohamed Akwal.

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Click here to read other interviews / articles with Carol Yip.

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Prudential article - Plan, Prepare, Protect with Carol Yip

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