I started working at Oxford University in 2002 and in 2015 I proposed the first academic course on fintech in the UK. I had previously worked with entrepreneurs, startups and have a degree in mathematics and computer science and a PhD in economics.
Initially, I started to offer the course for the MBA students and this involved spending a week with startups in Shoreditch to immerse ourselves in the London fintech scene. We were taking people from academia and mixing them with hipsters in Old Street – it was pretty edgy at the time.
In 2017, Oxford asked me to launched our first ever online programme on Fintech, and it was an immediate hit. So far, thousands of people have taken the course and Oxford now have more than 15 programmes running 4 to 5 times per year, including two more I created and directed on blockchain strategy and on algorithmic trading.
The timing was good, there are lots of people in banking and in the City that wanted to get involved and an online programme for 6-8 weeks is very attractive.
The crazy thing is that Fintech is so fast changing, we have to constantly update the course material, sometimes even stripping it back and rewriting it again from scratch.