Officials and some students during first edition of Banking and Finance Days at the University of Buea
The Department of Banking and Finance (BNF) of the University of Buea has held the first edition of the Banking and Finance Days, on October 26 and 27, 2022, an occasion that ignited discussions on how to make the department’s graduates more fit for the job market.
Besides enlightening students on the potentials of the job market, the event prompted discussions on the need to review UB’s banking and finance curriculum.
The Open Door Day organised under the theme: “Banking and Finance Education and Job Market Opportunities,” was attended by some of UB’s top-notch academics, as well as officials from institutions that have partnered with the department, among them UBA bank and the National Employment Fund.
In a speech that opened the event, Prof Emmanuel Yenshu Vubo, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, said the Open Door Day aligned with UB’s mission of research, professionalism and outreach.
He told students to make the best out of the occasion to gain knowledge on how the banking and finance industry works.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Banking and Finance Department, Associate Prof Messomo Elle Serge, noted that the Open Door Day aimed to usher students into the professional world and to help them build networks for future employment.
It also aimed to assess the department’s programmes in relation to job market needs and re-strategise to enable banking and finance education meet current job market needs.
In a presentation on the effectiveness of banking and finance education for job market opportunities, Prof Messomo noted that most courses they offer at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels fall short of providing students with technical skills they need to become banking and finance professionals.
He recommended: “We have, firstly, to review our curriculum. Things will never be again the same. We have to tally our curriculum to the needs of the business world. The second thing is that we have to promote self-employment among our students of the Banking and Finance, whereby, our students, if they cannot get jobs…, they can initiate their own project and be self-employed.”
Representing UB’s Vice-Chancellor at the occasion was Prof Peter Sakwe Masumbe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Internal Control and Evaluation.
He acknowledged the need to professionalise the department’s programmes and tutor banking and finance students towards entrepreneurship. He promised the support of the UB administration to institute courses that will reflect job market needs.
The keynote address at the occasion was delivered by the Country Head of Retail Banking at UBA Cameroon, Rose Bony-Wandja.
She told students to function on three key values: hard work, patience and faith, if they must become better professionals. In addition to these, they must seek competence, set goals and standards for themselves and commit patiently towards realising those goals.
Towards the end of her 16-minute presentation, she told students: “Remember that a tree takes years to grow; remember that a child takes nine months in the womb to be born… So don’t forget that even with technology, evolution, a lot of achievements need time to get there. So work hard, don’t be in a hurry.”
Bony-Wandja also hailed the University of Buea for being among the top ranking universities in Cameroon; and the Department of Banking and Finance for producing some of the top employees of UBA Cameroon.
Several presentations and panel discussions characterised the two-day event.
On the first day, Prof Messomo’s presentation on the effectiveness of banking education was followed by a presentation on employment opportunities at UBA bank, which was done by Muriel Ngoh, the bank’s Regional Director for Littoral I.
Also, Ndille Bridget from the National Employment Fund enlightened students on career opportunities for banking and finance students, while Prof Zinkeng Martine talked on the pedagogy of financial education among students of UB.
Successive presentations by Yapithe Eugene (on key factors for entrepreneurial education) and Dintar Berka (on conditions for recruitment and promotion in UBA bank) ended the first day of the event.
The second day witnessed a presentation by Ikome Hermine on the different employment opportunities for banking and finance graduates and panel discussions that examined the opportunities and the challenges of banking and finance education alongside other relevant topics.
Banking and Finance students were visibly impacted by the event that was holding in their department for the first time. To Tohsam Edwin, a final-year student, the event enriched his learning experience.
He and his peers cheered extensively when stakeholders at the event talked on introducing better courses at the department that address job market needs.