Dr Barbara Drexler, associate dean of international affairs at Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, talks about the school’s Master of Leadership in Development Finance programme, the skills it teaches to students, and what the school believes are the defining characteristics of leadership in 21st century development.
What can a student of the Master of Leadership in Development Finance – online expect to gain by enrolling in the programme?
The Master of Leadership in Development Finance (MLDF) is a comprehensive, flexible, part-time online programme for professionals working in the development finance sector. The programme equips its students with knowledge on general management theory, and on functional key areas of the industry, such as Micro- and SME finance, sustainable energy finance, or financial inclusion policy. This combination is unique and sets the programme apart from any other Masters programme offered globally.
Could you describe the level of practical knowledge students receive, alongside the theoretical content?
The students will have to demonstrate their skills in logical thinking and analytical rigour. However, the programme is designed for professionals. Many modules are quite functional. The case studies, for instance, are very hands-on; as are the animated excel-sheets. The lessons learnt can be directly applied to the students’ professional lives. The feedback we have received from the students so far is indeed very promising.
The class profile indicates 42 percent students from Africa, 29 percent from Europe, 13 percent from Asia and America and 4 percent from Oceania. What differences have you noticed in the motivations of students from developing countries to enrol, versus those students from developed nations?
Motivations from both groups are actually pretty similar. Most students, independent from their background, share the motivation to promote the financial sector, or in a broader sense, the economic growth in developing countries.
Further, the students aim at gaining new knowledge and skills or complementing existing knowledge and experience to reach a comprehensive understanding of development finance.
To what extent is the course designed to decrease the need for technical assistance in developing countries by developed country donors?
In line with Sustainable Development Goal, one of the objectives of this Online Master is to provide students from developing countries access to high quality education. This way, we aim at improving the qualification of the local workforce in developing countries, which may help to decrease the need of external technical assistance. We also believe strongly, that the students of the programme become ambassadors of sound practice in development finance, thereby acting as a catalyst towards a more professional, customer-centric development finance sector.
How is the programme made accessible to such a diverse range of students?
The Master of Leadership in Development Finance is completely conducted online, except for the final exams. The programme is provided by the Frankfurt School Development Finance e-Campus (FSDF e-Campus) platform, a state-of-the-art responsive e-learning platform. The responsive design of the platform enables access for any web-enabled device, be it desktop PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone.
Study materials are structured in a way to enable access for students even with low bandwidth and unstable internet access. To reach this, we offer students a varying set of study material, including web presentations, video lectures, webinars, online tests, and forum, with a focus on downloadable and printable PDF scripts.
Dr Drexler is responsible for International Executive Education, Student Recruitment and Academic Partnerships.
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