Open University starts personal finance school

The Open University Business School has opened a new personal finance research centre dubbed the “True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance”.

Open University starts personal finance school

The centre will offer three free open-access modules the first of which, Personal Finance: Understanding the Basics, will be available from spring 2014.

This module will cover household budgeting, borrowing and debt management, managing savings and investments, how to arrange insurance cover and organise a pension.

The second and third modules which will be produced later in 2014 and 2015 will help individuals gain an understanding of investment and risks, the financial industry and consumer rights.

Courses and research at the centre have been put together by academics with expertise in regulation of the financial services industry; investment, pension funds and mis-selling; consumer behaviour and customer relationship management; the role of emotion in financial decision-making and taxation.

“The need for such a centre has never been greater,” said Professor Rebecca Taylor, dean of The Open University Business School. “Many people in the UK are struggling to pay their bills, let alone save for a pension; interest rates are low and more emphasis is being placed on the individual to take financial responsibility for their future.”

Taylor said while important steps are being taken to introduce financial education to the school curriculum this will only benefit school-aged children whereas the centre will use its research expertise to develop courses relevant to the needs of individuals managing their personal finances and looking to invest in their future.

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