Monday, 14 June 2021

WeBank and Singapore university nurture fintech talent in blockchain

Shenzhen, China, June 7, 2021 – WeBank, the world’s leading digital bank and the first digital-only bank in China, announced that its summer enrichment programme on FISCO BCOS Blockchain Experience at the Singapore Management University (SMU), a premier university in Asia internationally recognised for its world-class research and distinguished teaching, has been completed for this academic year on May 12. The programme is a collaboration between WeBank and SMU. 

In early 2020, WeBank and SMU signed a memorandum of cooperation to collaborate on curriculum and practice design for blockchain courses. The collaboration aims to improve SMU students’ understanding and skills in blockchain and encourage innovation in blockchain practices. 

Since the signing, WeBank and Associate Professor Paul Griffin from the School of Computing and Information Systems at SMU have worked together to create two full-term elective courses which combine theoretical study with practical learning, and a summer enrichment lecture. The elective courses are Blockchain Applications in Financial Services for undergraduates and Corporate Banking & Blockchain for postgraduates. The elective courses and the summer enrichment lecture have been run three times each for over 170 students. 

The elective courses teach students first-hand how blockchain technology can be applied to real-world financial scenarios. WeBank and Professor Griffin developed practical labs for the students, which includes 20 hours of lectures and 20 hours of lab experiments along with guest speakers such as Chaoxin Hu, Senior Architect from WeBank. The aim is to equip students with skills to quickly develop blockchain applications by themselves and better understand blockchain programming. Students of the elective courses have co-developed 19 applications in different scenarios or sectors, including insurance, healthcare, philanthropy, voting, syndicated loan, and procurement.

The summer enrichment programme allows students from different technical backgrounds to gain the basic knowledge of FISCO BCOS and its open-source community, and be inspired by the success stories of establishing real-world large-scale applications for business on FISCO BCOS blockchain infrastructure. The lecture featured WeBank experts teaching alongside Professor Griffin on the key concepts and design principles of blockchain systems and WeBASE (WeBank Blockchain Application Software Extension). 

WeBank and SMU plan to continue this cooperation in the latter half of 2021 to bring financial blockchain knowledge and experience of blockchain development to more students at SMU. 

Professor Griffin said, “Collaborations with industry and technology providers, such as WeBank, and integrating academic learning with real-world practice are part of our overall efforts to nurture future-ready graduates with sound knowledge and training in Fintech. Through the summer enrichment programme and elective course using FISCO BCOS blockchain, our students are able to learn more about enterprise blockchains and their applications in use cases. The course will further strengthen our high-quality education for our students and provide them with the useful skills needed in today’s business environment.”

Zhenhua Zhao, Senior Blockchain Expert from WeBank said, “We’re glad that students who took the courses are able to apply blockchain Proof of Concepts to real-world financial services and corporate banking scenarios. Those applied scenarios also ignite a lot of innovative blockchain development ideas here at WeBank.”

Going forward, WeBank and SMU will continue the successful partnership, focus on the exploration of different use scenarios and create more engaging courses. In addition, WeBank plans to integrate the industry application and academic research from the courses, cultivate more talented students to drive the development of fintech, and build a blockchain business ecosystem with in-depth ready-to-use applications.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker