Roumiana Hampartzoumian reflects on how the Global Central Banking and Financial Regulation programme is helping her to challenge her own beliefs and assumptions.
I have been working in a central bank for 13 years in the field of payments, oversight of non-bank payment service providers, and anti-money laundering. As the work has been increasingly demanding, expanding, and requiring interdisciplinary and up-to-date knowledge and skills, I decided to do the MSc in Global Central Banking and Financial Regulation. I wanted to build on my expertise and enrich my knowledge and understanding of central banking and financial regulation, find new ideas and insights, and gain new perspectives. What gave me confidence in the quality of the programme was that it was a partnership between two leading institution, the Bank of England and University of Warwick. What made it possible for me to join the programme was the availability of a bursary, which I successfully qualified for. The fact that the programme is taught entirely online gave me the flexibility to study at my own pace and allowed me to combine work and study efficiently, which otherwise would not have been possible for me.
I am currently in my fifth module and my experience so far has been enriching and fulfilling. What I appreciate the most about the programme is that the modules contain traditionally relevant topics for central banks and regulators, such as financial stability, monetary policy, and banking supervision. They also include emerging topics, such as climate change, digital currencies, fintech, big data, behavioural finance, governance and ethics. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the topics are presented through the lens of critical evaluation, meaning that the taught material did not repeat what we already might know from undergrad studies or our work, but aimed to challenge your beliefs and question what you already know.
Overall, the modules offer a good balance between academic and practical knowledge, so students can build a strong theoretical background, and also hear the views of professionals from central banks and other institutions and agencies. I have found the interview sessions with professionals particularly interesting, candid, and insightful. Lecturers for some modules have experience in the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve, which I find presents a unique and valuable opportunity for students to tap into their expertise. I must also mention that the online platform used in the programme is impressive, very easy to use, and hassle-free. It gives students easy, one-point access to all learning materials, communication with the university, and your student record.
My country is part of the European Union and is on its way to joining the Eurozone. What I am learning in the programme builds on my expertise, and more specifically, will be very useful in the preparation work related to the integration and smooth transition to the new monetary regime, banking union, and supervision and regulation within the Eurozone. Although you cannot learn and become an expert in every subject, the programme provides a structured and in-depth approach to critical analysis of a range of important and relevant topics so that you can return to for future reference and further study as needed.
I would highly recommend the programme to professionals looking to deepen their knowledge of central banking and financial regulation, whether they are from the public or the private sector. I am not aware of any places in academia where this subject is taught as an entire master's degree programme. Usually, central bankers and regulators start by learning about central banking and regulation on their job, and it takes many years to build an expert and develop critical thinking in their area of expertise. In this context, the programme is unique, and I hope it continues to evolve and attract more and more participants.