FinTech strategies for higher education

Manchester Metropolitan University is one of the UK’s largest academic institutions. It has the UK’s second largest Business School, with 5,000 students and attracts world-class professionals through an emphasis on vocational education and employability.

Manchester Met looked to reinforce and extend its capabilities in financial technology (FinTech) and required external support for guidance and strategy development across multiple streams. Whitecap’s expertise in the FinTech sector meant we were well placed to support Manchester Met in this project.

Whitecap first began by understanding Manchester Met’s vision and strategic direction. We investigated the role the university could play within FinTech and the implications and benefits for students and employers as well as industry partnerships – this demanded a detailed analysis of the current themes and developments in FinTech from a labour & skills, technology and industry angle. Whitecap then worked with Manchester Met to highlight three key FinTech oriented areas for the university to develop.

 1. Skills

With its strong position in skills and qualifications, and the UK’s current skills gap for expertise in this industry, Manchester Met could take the opportunity to adopt FinTech as a subject into its postgraduate curriculum. The aim of this would be to successfully equip students at an esteemed level for the growing digital and financial economy. Here, Whitecap identified sector specific skills gaps that Manchester Met could fill through a FinTech programme. Once the industry needs, themes and developments were identified, we then took an internal view to judge what Manchester Met would need in place to provide a successful FinTech curriculum.

 2. SME Engagement

Utilising our networks across the northern FinTech sector, Whitecap then explored ways in which Manchester Met could partner with SMEs in this space. This could involve, collaboration in sandbox environments, as well as support services in advisory, legal and compliance areas.

 3. Research & Development

Lastly, Whitecap explored how Manchester Met could utilise its strengths in research to provide dedicated resource for FinTech R&D with cross-functional teams from within multiple faculties and with a wide a range of competence areas such as, IoT, Blockchain & Big Data Analytics.

Whitecap presented the outputs from this project back to the university’s senior leadership team.

“Manchester Met is a world class university taking a forward-thinking stance in regards to FinTech. We were proud to work alongside Manchester Met to analyse this sector and pioneer new ways for an educational establishment to be centrally involved.” – Stefan Haase, Director, Whitecap Consulting.

“Whitecap’s strength and expertise in FinTech meant they were perfectly aligned to explore and develop areas that were suitable for us to move into”. – Hussein Abdou, Professor of Banking & Finance, Manchester Met Business School.

Manchester Met supported FinTech North 2017 (Whitecap’s FinTech events initiative) as a sponsor – with Manchester Met’s Professor Hussein Abdou, Professor of banking and finance, speaking at the conference. You can read the write up of the event here.