New Welsh language version of MSE’s hit Open University 'Academoney' course launches
MoneySavingExpert.com's 'Academoney' course - prepared and written by the Open University - is going bilingual, giving Welsh-language speakers the skills and knowledge they need to master their money, in their choice of Welsh or English.
The course – Academi Arian – has been newly translated from MSE’s Academy of Money, a financial education project launched in English last year, when MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE) teamed up with distance learning institution the Open University (OU).
Hosted on the OU’s free OpenLearn platform, the academic course was the higher education provider’s most popular new, free course of the past year, with more than 37,000 sign-ups.
How the course works
The course is made up of six two-hour sessions of study covering all key aspects of personal finance:
- Making good spending decisions: You’ll examine what behavioural and marketing pressures influence purchasing decisions and look at a simple four-stage decision-making model. Developing your approach to money management underpins this session, and the rest of the course.
- Budgeting and taxation: This session examines how to calculate net income. You’ll explore expenditure patterns, how national insurance and income tax works, and how to plan to build a successful budget.
- Borrowing money: This session looks at how different types of debt work, the differences between them and the dangers. It examines the concept of ‘bad debt, good debt’ and by the end, educates on how to borrow sensibly.
- Understanding mortgages: Mortgage products are complex. This session gives a grounding in how they work, interest rates, repayments and possible penalties. It also examines mortgages from a lender’s perspective to explain why your mobile phone contract might just determine how much you can borrow.
- Saving and investing: This session explains the difference between saving and investing, plus how to understand different types of saving vehicles and the basics of investments, such as shares, bonds and commodities, and the associated risks.
- Planning for retirement: In this last session, you’ll understand how state pensions, occupational and personal pension schemes work and the differences between them – it’s designed both for those imminently retiring and for those who have many years to go.
As with the English language course, Academi Arian is totally flexible, allowing students to study at their own pace, perhaps even choosing just one topic to brush up on. It is available to anyone wanting to improve their knowledge of personal finance for their own interest and financial capability, or, for those who work in consumer help industries, it can provide some academic grounding to support their work.
In addition to a free downloadable statement of participation, enrolling on the course will give students the opportunity to earn a free OU digital badge if they complete all six sessions. This is a way to demonstrate interest in the subject and a commitment to your career with continuing professional development.
The course was translated as part of the Wellbeing and Mental Health Collection for OpenLearn in Wales; a selection of free, bilingual resources in both Welsh and English, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. The collection was delivered by The Open University in Wales, in partnership with The Open University Students’ Association, Wrexham Glyndŵr University and Adult Learners Wales.
'I’m delighted and thankful to the Open University that we can now tool people up, for free, in Welsh'
MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis, who also funded the roll-out of a curriculum-mapped financial education textbook for schools in Wales, said: “The MSE 'Academoney' is already one of the most popular free courses available – proof of just how under-invested we are in financial education. That education is crucial, it’s almost a form of financial self-defence. So I’m delighted and thankful to the Open University that we can now tool people up, for free, in Welsh as well as English.
“After all, companies spend billions on advertising, marketing and teaching their staff to sell, yet we as consumers don't get any buyer's training. Academi Arian is about redressing the poor, or more likely non-existent, financial education many adults received at school. And while it is worth it just for your own financial knowledge, for many people, it’s also a great way to show commitment to professional development.
“The positive feedback we have had from those who have already completed the course is overwhelming, and now I hope to get similar feedback in Welsh, with many people taking a great step towards financial literacy. My only regret is I don’t have the Welsh language skills to come up with an equivalent name to 'Academoney' – but we’re open to suggestions.”