THE responsibility for assessing risks to ensure the economic stability of insurance or financial institutions falls to actuaries.
Actuaries analyse past data to verify the amount of fund that should be retained to prepare for potential losses in the future.
An actuary is a Fellow member of an internationally recognised professional actuarial body, with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) (UK) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA) (US) being the two leading professional bodies in the industry. To attain Fellowship from one of these, one needs to pass all the required examinations.
Both IFoA and SOA provide exemptions from some of their examinations through accredited university programmes and modules.
Actuarial Studies programme
Sunway University is one of the only 20 over institutions worldwide providing a maximum six IFoA exemptions through its BSc (Hons) Actuarial Studies (BAS) programme.
Students graduating from Sunway’s BAS are eligible to obtain maximum six IFoA professional exam exemptions.
On top of that, the programme also allows students to get maximum three exemptions (the Validation of Educational Experience (VEE)) from the SOA.
Launched in 2013, over 600 students have completed this programme to date and ventured into diverse areas of practice.
The rigorous and intensive three-month Actuarial Practice Course (APC), conducted by Sunway’s in-house actuary Sophia Ch’ng, exposes BAS students to the latest practice and current issues in the industry.
Thanks to Ch’ng and the industry-focused learning provided in the programme, Sunway University boasts a track record of 100% employment in actuarial-related positions for students who completed the APC.
Tan Min Li, who obtained maximum six IFoA exemptions and the 2021 Sir Edward Johnston Prize, attributed her success to the dynamic, competitive, yet conducive environment of the programme.
The Sir Edward Johnston Prize, established in 2013 - the same year Sunway University launches its actuarial studies programme - by the IFoA is awarded to the top performing student from Sunway University.
“The APC was definitely an eye-opener and presented me with various employment opportunities,” said Tan, who secured the position of Actuarial Associate at AIA Public Takaful before graduation.
Her classmate Yan Yao Kong, who also bagged the maximum six IFoA exemptions, added, “The BAS programme at Sunway University has equipped me well by teaching me actuarial-related knowledge and various useful softwares for the actuarial industry”. Yan was offered to join Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd before graduation.
Meanwhile, Teo Jia Fuu, who will start as an executive at Allianz General Insurance (M) Sdn Bhd - also hired before graduation - shared that getting the maximum six IFoA exemptions requires a lot of hard work and a good mentor.
“Sunway has not just one, but two in-house qualified actuaries - both very good in imparting practical industry knowledge,” he shared.
The success stories above have motivated BAS students to follow their seniors’ footsteps and set a higher benchmark.
The Sunway Advantage
Sunway University recognises that academic results and professional exemptions alone can no longer guarantee fresh graduates an actuarial job, as companies are looking at candidates’ job readiness and special credentials as well.
Sunway University's actuarial studies curriculum has many other advantages and is committed to producing Employer Ready Graduates.
In addition to the exemptions and practical actuarial training provided, the curriculum also provides compulsory internship with industrial projects, actuarial scorecard, and communication skills, which are essential towards strengthening the maturity and preparedness for employment.
Securing a brighter future
Actuarial graduates are highly valued in insurance valuation, risk management, reinsurance, asset-liability management, product pricing and other portfolios that demand pinpoint accuracy.
Sunway University School of Mathematical Sciences dean Prof Ho Chee Kit said, “In our continuous effort for improvements, we must understand the latest requirements and the ever-evolving actuarial profession.
“Bringing in the right talent such as in-house actuaries and carefully nurturing and feeding students the right ingredients for success are all part of the school’s mission to help our actuarial graduates secure good employment and present them a springboard to prosper in the next stage of their life journey. Their Journey, Our Mission”.
For more details on the programme, visit http://my.sunwayu.edu.my/mathsc/