Broadening generic skills development: Improving financial literacy of university students

Research has demonstrated the importance of financial literacy as one of the key life skills for sound financial decision-making. Despite the vast availability of educational resources, young adults were consistently found to have low levels of financial capability. Of particular concern is that many of these young people do not have adequate money skills to manage their freedom during university time, which may contribute to suboptimal financial behaviours. This study surveyed university students by assessing their financial literacy and perception of the financial education they received in school. Illiteracy across different domains of financial topics was evident. Results also indicate that majority of respondents viewed that high school has not taught them financial knowledge that will prepare them for adult life. Accordingly, it is proposed that graduate skills development in higher education should be broadened to incorporate financial literacy to help university students to navigate the financial maze. 

Chrisann Palm*
Laura de Zwaan
Queensland University of Technology

Toni Chardon
University of Southern Queensland

Keywords: Financial literacy, money skills, graduate skills development

Paper submitted to RMIT Accounting Educators’ Conference 2015

* Corresponding author: Dr. Chrisann Palm School of Accountancy QUT Business School GPO Box 2434

Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia Tel: +617 31381049
Fax: +617 31381812
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The authors wish to acknowledge the funding from QUT Business School, School of Accountancy, School Research Initiative Grant, Dr. Yulin Liu for research assistance and         Ken Swan from The Wealth Academy for collaboration in this research project. 

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