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FutureLearn course launch will continue helping young adults with their personal finance

The recent troubles of payday loan company Wonga have brought the issue of personal finance sharply back into national focus.

So it is apt that the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (True Potential PUFin), a centre of excellence for personal finance in The Open University Business School (OUBS) which was established in 2013, is launching its ‘Managing My Money for Young Adults’ free online course on FutureLearn on Monday 24 September.

The course remains available on another digital education platform, OpenLearn, following its high-profile launch in November 2017 fronted by Bobby Seagull, who rose to prominence in BBC’s University Challenge. Providing dedicated learning materials for young adults and teachers to support personal finance education as part of the national curriculum, it has been viewed by tens of thousands of 16 to 18-year-olds, either studying alone or in groups at school or college, facilitated by teaching staff.

The content has been refreshed and enhanced on both the new FutureLearn version as well as the original OpenLearn one. A key addition on FutureLearn is that two experienced Associate Lecturers, Paul Corner and Sue Cowley, will be actively mentoring participants and encouraging discussion throughout the eight-week course. It remains free, although a concessionary fee for FutureLearn (£32) does secure certain advantages and the opportunity to earn a certificate.

The course, fully funded by The Chartered Accountants’ Livery Charity, comprises eight bite-sized, video-based sessions of learning and quizzes – each around three hours’ study time. It offers support for young people as they become responsible for their own financial future and covers the financial education needs of those moving on in their adult lives to employment, apprenticeships and higher education.

The financial challenges now facing young people are daunting such as choosing from the array of financial products, understanding higher education finance, living in shared rental accommodation and trying to get onto the property ladder. It’s so important to get to grips with personal financial management, make well-informed decisions and realise that borrowing is not necessarily a bad thing as most people have a significant debt to manage, namely a mortgage on a house, during their lifetime. The updated course on FutureLearn offers the opportunity for interaction with their peers, actively assisted by our two experienced mentors. Although the target audience is those in their mid to late teens, it’s sure to benefit anyone aged 13 or over (FutureLearn’s minimum age) up to those in their early to mid-20s. For young people, many financial matters may seem like issues for the future rather than the present. The reality is that many major financial decisions do have to be made early in adulthood. So it’s a shrewd move to get an early understanding of the issues involved. I would still urge anyone who doesn’t sign-up before the launch date to get involved as it’s quite easy to catch-up with the rest of the learners.

Course producer Martin Upton, Director of True Potential PUFin

It is currently planned to run two further presentations in January and June 2019.

Classroom support for teachers is available in a course overview and set of eight guidance notes, one for each session of the course. These provide details on the objectives of each session, a summary of the subjects and issues covered and also provide suggestions for further discussion areas and exercises.

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