In order to cultivate high-level international talents and build an international teaching and research team with a global perspective, the School of Business has been inviting renowned figures to join and give students access to the classes of top scholars around the world, and Professor Roman is one of them. Assoicate Professor Li Fei Fei, Ms Tang Hanyi from English teaching team and our students Chang Zeyuan and He Zhan had an online interview with Professor Roman. Through the radio waves from across the ocean, we were able to experience his connection to China after years of teaching. From the exchange, we were able to gain an international perspective and learn the power of academic dedication.
Conversation with Professor Roman: No discipline is an island
We recently conducted an online interview with Professor Roman of Queen Mary University of London. Born in March 1966, this world-leading scholar in international banking and financial economics was previously Director of Research at the Centre for Global Banking and Financial Innovation at the University of Nottingham and an international visiting professor at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Tongji University before joining Queen Mary, and has significant international academic influence and standing. He is currently employed at our Business School as the lead foreign expert and joins English teaching team and international collaborative research team. He is teaching《Risk Management》and 《International Finance》for SDNU students.
From food culture to student evaluation, from classroom atmosphere to academic attitudes, from critical thinking to future outlook ...... We talked a lot and gained a lot, and the highlights are too numerous to list, so I'll collate them and share them with you.
Professor Roman Matousek
Chinese students: an excellent combination of academic quality and attitude to learning
Having delivered banking and finance related courses in many Chinese universities including Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Tongji University and Jinan University, Professor Roman has gained a deep understanding of the academic quality and learning attitude of Chinese students. Strong quantitative skills, excellent analytical skills, diligent and motivated, keen to think and question ...... are all comments Professor Roman gives to his Chinese students.
Question: How do you assess the academic quality of Chinese students?
Pro Roman: I have met many Chinese students in both China and the UK, and even now still supervise Chinese PhD students. My impression is that Chinese students generally have very high quantitative skills, which is a huge advantage for them to study for a degree in finance or economics. In addition to this, Chinese students have excellent analytical skills. For example, at the end of every lecture I give to students in the Financial Management program at Business School, I select 20 to 30 multiple choice questions from the textbook for them to think about in class, but just a few weeks ago, the students independently found two errors in the textbook answers. This not only demonstrated their excellent analytical skills, but also gave me a better understanding of their meticulous academic attitude.
Question: What qualities do Chinese students generally have in their academic studies?
Pro Roman: In my opinion, the students I am teaching at SDNU are very hard working and very motivated to achieve high grades. And as I mentioned earlier, the fact that students are independently finding errors in textbooks reflects the rigor and seriousness with which Chinese students approach academics. Being motivated, diligent and willing to question authority ...... are qualities that I admire in students and that many Chinese students possess.
Professor Roman's online class actively discusses with students
Finance learning: it is not advisable to cut off links with other disciplines
As Pascal said, "Man is a reed that can think", mechanically putting knowledge into the brain is not really mastering it. This is particularly true for finance as an applied subject. In the learning process, simply understanding the knowledge only serves a superficial purpose; only when one is able to use it to ask questions and solve problems can one be considered to have reached the core of knowledge. At the same time, the study of finance should not be focused on a single issue, but should be studied as an organic system using a cross-disciplinary approach.
Question: What kind of thinking do you think you need to have to study finance?
Pro Roman: Students studying finance need to be good at quantitative methods and need to use interdisciplinary knowledge. This means that they should see the links between the different subjects taught. For example, if we talk about the financial crisis, we need to use critical and analytical thinking to further apply knowledge of macroeconomics, financial institutions and financial instruments. Therefore, the crisis should not be thought of in isolation, but in a wider context. Thinking and interpreting knowledge should not be separated and fragmented, but should link the disciplines together like a patchwork mosaic.
Question: Which do you value more, absorbing knowledge or asking questions?
Pro Roman: In my academic career I have come across students who are very good at absorbing knowledge but are unable to ask a practical question and solve it, which is a very typical problem for postgraduate students. A good student needs to be open-minded and able to question what they have learned. They need to form their own opinions on certain issues and identify challenging problems to be solved. Today, people no longer need encyclopedic knowledge as they did 30 years ago, we can find information easily, but not everyone knows how to use and apply it, and that is the real challenge for us.
Question: Do you recommend that students from SDNU go abroad for further study in the future?
Pro Roman: I would highly recommend that students study abroad to expand their academic horizons; it is a good investment for their careers. As we've discussed before about blockchain technology and fintech, my university, Queen Mary University of London, has just opened a new Master’s degree in blockchain. I would love to see SDNU students in our School of Business and Management. I have been teaching at Shandong Normal University for almost a year now and have gotten to know the SDNU students well, and I am confident that SDNU students are ready to study at leading research universities overseas.
Looking to the future: the digital economy is in full swing
From Watt's invention of the steam engine two hundred years ago, which started the first industrial revolution and made Britain the proud "Empire of the Sun", to Industry 4.0, which is now driving the transformation of manufacturing into an intelligent industry that affects the survival of all mankind, every great social change and progress in human history is inevitably linked to a major breakthrough in science and technology. The economic sector is no exception, with the digital economy led by the Internet in full swing.
Question: How will the financial sector evolve in the future, given the flood of technological advances?
Pro Roman: I have recently published a book on blockchain and fintech. We believe that the digitization of the economy is rapidly evolving, technological advances are permeating everyone's daily business activities, digital change is spreading to every area of business, and in particular we are observing some landmark changes in the financial sector. The implementation of technological change is undoubtedly driven by customer needs, both from the customer's point of view and from the point of view of digital innovation developers, and these needs are significantly influenced by the millennial generation, and the banking sector is a good example to showcase these changes. In this respect, China has become a global leader in the use and development of fintech.
Question: Will you choose to invest his money on the stock exchange in the future?
Pro Roman: That is a good question for a professor of finance. In terms of investment, I am more bullish on property, like most Chinese investors. Perhaps as an investor, I prefer to anchor on a sector like real estate which is relatively a bit outdated.
This is all we have compiled from our interview with Professor Roman. In the future, we can still expect the Business School to hire more international academic experts as authoritative as Professor Roman to bring more exciting courses to the students of the Business School, further developing their academic horizons and global thinking, so that they can grow up to be the builders of a nation that can bear the heavy responsibility of national rejuvenation.