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Financial Laboratory at the University of Debrecen

At the SEED House of the Faculty of Economics and Business a specially equipped room, the "Fintelligence Lab" has opened. The objective of the investment is to improve financial awareness with the help of cutting-edge infrastructure.

- The University of Debrecen has taken another important step in order to prepare its students for their financial decisions. I hope that university students will leave the institute equipped with useful knowledge as self-confident adults, who are able to make conscious financial decisions – said Minister of Finance Mihály Varga at the opening ceremony of the  Fintelligence Lab.

The minister explained that responsible financial behaviour takes life-long learning. The government believes that the improvement of conscious financial behaviour may have positive effects on the economy and society in general, as well as on the well being of people, consumption, savings, economic growth and stability. The minister added that the government has developed a programme called 'National Financial Awareness Development Strategy' that covers a 7-year period between 2017 and 2023.

- One of the key objectives of the programme is to reach university students who are most sensitive to modern financial knowledge. For this purpose, the Fintelligence Financial Education Network, which uses an experience-based learning model, is an excellent tool – pointed out Mihály Varga.

Zoltán Szilvássy, rector of UD, said that the operation of the university has relied on a specific system for years.

- The system is based on a cooperation between the self-government, the university, the business world and financial institutions in the fields of education and economic  development. I am confident that the operation of the Fintelligence Lab will result in better financial culture, and it will efficiently support the objectives of UD in the fields of education, research and innovation.

The Fintelligence Lab has been established jointly by the University of Debrecen and the FINTELLIGENCE Financial Culture Centre as a new member of the national Fintelligence Financial Education Network, and is supported financially by the university and Erste Bank Zrt.

- The primary objective is to improve the financial and business culture of the public and businesses through providing up-to-date infrastructure. The bank considers UD as a strategic partner. The parties run a successful agricultural academic programme, not to mention that a branch operates at the university – said Radovan Jelasity, CEO of Erste Bank.

In addition to UD and the University of Miskolc, financial labs will also be established in Pécs, Budapest, Szeged and Cluj-Napoca.

- This network allows a continuous development of research and training programmes related to financial culture, and the enhancement of the related scientific and professional knowledge through a cooperation between universities – said Levente Kovács, secretary of the Hungarian Banking Association.

Upon the introduction of the classroom, Zoltán Bács, chancellor of UD, explained that the 36 computers of the Fintelligence Lab equipped with cutting-edge technologies and applications will primarily be available for students participating in undergraduate programmes in finance and accounting at the Faculty of Economics and Business.

There are 8 monitors in the classroom and on the corridor, where people can obtain up-to-date information about the financial market. In the future basic practical courses will be launched in finances, in which any student of the university can enrol. High school classes will also be able to participate in interactive finance courses, where students can become familiar with basic financial concepts and technologies.

The new classroom supports practice-oriented financial education that is based on case studies and encourages independent thinking. Richárd Szabados, head of business line at the financial institution, highlighted that the opening of the classroom is a result of the strategic cooperation between the university and the bank. Employees of Erste Bank will also be involved in education programmes in the future.

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