In a report presented by the Financial Services Development Council last year, one can see an acute shortage of manpower in the insurance industry. Responding to social and economic needs, Lingnan has approved the Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons)－Risk and Insurance Management Programme (RIM Programme) as an independent programme, with direct JUPAS admission starting from the academic year 2016/17. Assistant Professor of Teaching Martin Yick in the Department of Finance and Insurance shares how the unique RIM Programme prepares students for their future career.
What are the needs for an insurance programme in Hong Kong?
The general public has very little understanding of the insurance sector, except the limited encounters with one’s insurance agent. Instead of being appreciated as a professional, insurance agents are always branded as “salesmen” who survive in their business by meeting quotas.
Based on statistics from the Insurance Institute of Hong Kong (now CIIHK), there are currently 156 authorised insurers in Hong Kong, of which 93 are pure general insurers, 44 are pure long-term insurers, and 19 are composite insurers. There are now 642 authorised insurance brokers and 8,750 persons registered as chief executives or technical representatives. In 2013, total gross premiums of the Hong Kong insurance industry increased by 13.7% to HK$299.5 billion, representing a significant amount of Hong Kong's gross domestic product. The insurance sector is growing rapidly and a significant increase in the demand for skilled manpower is forecast.
How can Lingnan fill the gap in insurance education?
The RIM Programme offered by Lingnan equips students with fundamental knowledge in insurance and risk management that meets the needs of the banking and insurance industries. Our graduates are well prepared for managerial positions in insurance companies, banks and related financial institutions. They work as insurance underwriters, claim officers, bankers, insurance product developers, insurance brokers, insurance and financial instrument executives and also non-insurance-related administrators, etc.
What distinguishes Lingnan’s RIM Programme from similar programmes in other local universities?
As the only undergraduate programme in Asia granted credit exemption by The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the RIM Programme allows students to obtain professional qualifications on top of an academic degree upon graduation. Students who have earned 100 credits by taking two CII exams in insurance law and business will be awarded the DipCII award. They are also eligible for the Senior Associate membership of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, and enjoy other examination exemptions from various professional bodies.
Students under the RIM Programme also benefit from vast internship opportunities and scholarships, one of which is the AR Charitable Foundation Scholarship Scheme. It is one of the most comprehensive scholarship schemes for insurance students in Hong Kong, providing partial or full coverage in tuition and hostel fees. Up to HK$450,000 can be offered to each final year RIM Programme student who has successfully applied to the MSc in Insurance and Risk Management at CASS Business School, City University London.
Watch the following video to understand the RIM Programme from students’ perspectives: