Quant Guide 2020: Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen

Shenzhen, China

Photo: Jundouchen

A newcomer to Risk.net’s quant guide, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen is a joint institution created by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, based in Shatin, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen University in mainland China. Under Chinese law, foreign institutions are not allowed to establish campuses on Chinese soil without a domestic sponsor or partnership. Thus, the university is technically a separate institution from CUHK.

In practice, however, academics often work for both. Among those is professor of systems engineering and engineering management Nan Chen, programme director of the joint university’s Master of Science in Financial Engineering, as well as overseeing an undergraduate financial technology degree programme at CUHK. The master’s degree, which was established in 2015, is completed over two years with three seasonal semesters in each, if completed on a full-time basis; the programme had no part-time students in the most recent cohort. It is also one of the more gender-balanced programmes in this year’s guide, with women making up 45% of the student body.

Requirements include classes in stochastic methods, derivatives pricing and an introductory course in Chinese financial markets. As electives, students can take computational methods in financial engineering, credit risk modelling and algorithmic trading. More fintech content has recently been added to the programme as well as campus talks by industry practitioners, says associate professor of practice in financial engineering Raymond Tsang. The new modules, he adds, include topics on data mining and machine learning.

The industrial talks tend to focus on artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain – appropriately, given that Shenzhen is often called China’s Silicon Valley. The programme also gained new personnel in the last year – Olivier Cotard and Ma Xiaofeng joined its pool of 24 instructors, drawn from the Shatin and Shenzhen schools.

The programme, like many others in this year’s guide, is seeing something of a shift in the career paths of its graduates. More students, Tsang says, are joining tech and fintech companies than in the past. The new crop of employers includes tech firm Tencent, AI software provider SenseTime and digital lender WeBank.

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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