Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s Actuarial Science Programme recently earned a spot on the Society of Actuaries (SOA)'s list of Universities & Colleges with Actuarial Programs (UCAP).
Founded in 1949, the Society of Actuaries is the largest actuarial professional organisation in the world, with more than 30,000 members worldwide. The Universities and Colleges with Actuarial Programmes (UCAP) list serves as a resource for students looking for a university/college actuarial programme, with approximately 200 colleges and universities on the list worldwide.
The SOA recognised XJTLU as providing course coverage for three of its preliminary exams and has approved XJTLU modules for its validation by educational experience (VEE) in the Accounting & Finance and Mathematical Statistics topics. Students at XJTLU may use their grades in the related courses to apply for free SOA VEE accreditation.
Dr Chengxiu Ling, of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the programme director (pictured below), said: “We are devoted to building world-class actuarial programme. With our diverse and quality teaching staff and superb facilities, we are fully capable of achieving this accomplishment.”
Fanghong Chen, one of the first BSc Actuarial Science graduates at XJTLU, passed five SOA examinations and is now doing actuarial product pricing and management for an insurance company. She thinks XJTLU’s Actuarial Science programme has an advantage in its comprehensive basic courses, which include instruction in economics, finance and statistics.
“As one of the first students of the programme, I am happy to see the rapid development in recent years," Chen said.
"The University is working with the leading organisations in the industry like the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. Such cooperation has provided many practice opportunities for XJTLU students and helped us learn more about the cutting-edge actuarial applications in the field.”
Above: The first group of Actuarial Science graduates at XJTLU
Established in 2016, BSc Actuarial Science in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at XJTLU has a full set of courses. In 2017, the programme acquired the right to confer a degree from China's Ministry of Education. In the past four years, quality teaching staff who meet the standards of world-renowned universities have been recruited from both inside and outside China. XJTLU has a group of international staff with rich teaching and research experience in actuarial science, financial mathematics, statistics, applied mathematics and finance.
As an undergraduate, Yishan Gong (pictured above), who is now pursuing her PhD degree in Statistics and Actuarial Science, chose XJTLU's 2+2 study route, which includes two years studying at XJTLU and then two years at the University of Liverpool, which also has an actuarial program.
After spending two years taking actuarial courses at the University of Liverpool in the UK, she won exemption from examinations for six courses of the IFoA. She said she acquired a wide range of professional knowledge in her four years as an undergraduate.
“Besides insurance, financial mathematics, economics and accounting statement, courses in probability and statistics have been the basis for my PhD study. The wide range of courses in XJTLU has also created more possibilities for its students when they graduate and enter the job market,” Gong said.
Whether they choose to stay in Suzhou for four years or the 2+2 route, students will finally get a bachelor’s degree in BSc Actuarial Science at XJTLU and BSc Actuarial Mathematics at the University of Liverpool.
Dr Eric Amigues, dean of XJTLU's School of Science, said the SOA’s recognition means XJTLU’s Actuarial Science programme has a solid foundation in its curriculum, which offers help to students taking relevant international tests. In addition, the newly established Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science will create more possibilities.
The SOA offers actuarial education programmes in life insurance, health insurance, employee benefits and pension to improve actuaries’ abilities to analyse and manage their clients' financial risk.
By Department of Mathematical Sciences, Yunji Tao, Bo Kou
Edited by Tamara Kaup
Images courtesy of Chen Fanghong and Yishan Gong