Financial literacy competencies of third-year university students : a case study
Louw, Johannes Jurgens
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There seems to be a definite need for financial literacy education and training, especially under young people. The lack of financial literacy seems to be from a lack of sufficient financial education. A lack in personal financial skills seems to be an international problem. The primary aim of this research is to evaluate the financial literacy competencies of university students, and to make recommendations on improving their competencies, if necessary. Financial literacy was defined as: "a financially literate individual should have a positive attitude towards his/her finances and learning, the understanding to take control of his/her own finances; the ability to discern good from bad financial decisions, and the skills to make it practical." The advantages of being financially literate seem to be overwhelming. Financial education or training seems to have a positive effect on individuals. The timing of financial literacy education, what and how to provide financial literacy education about, seems to play a vital role. It seems to have a positive impact if this training is provided early in life. There seems to be certain topics that form a vital part when compiling a personal finance curriculum, such as financial planning, budgeting, credit, investments and retirement A questionnaire was completed by third-year students from the North-West University's Potchefstroom Campus. Respondents in this study indicated that they viewed learning more about personal finance as important. Also, the respondents in this study do not appear to be financially competent in all areas. They lacked knowledge in the fields of banking, taxation, financial planning, interest rates, inflation and legal matters in terms of financial matters. Students from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences performed best and students from the Faculty of Health Sciences performed worst. Students who did a short course in personal finance had an advantage and students who were only exposed to this at school level performed worst. The challenge to educate scholars and students to be responsible, economic participants is great and a call is made to role players to attend to this as soon as possible.
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