The National University of Singapore announced today the launch of a new Master of Science in Sustainable and Green Finance (MSc SGF) programme, aimed at developing talent for the growing market of financial solutions and services directed at addressing environmental and sustainability challenges. According to NUS, the new Masters program is the first of its kind to be offered among leading Asian universities.

Associate Professor Zhang Weina, Academic Director of the MSc SGF programme and Deputy Director of the Sustainable and Green Finance Institute (SGFIN) at NUS, said:

“Many green finance experts were trained in the West. Asia needs its own indigenous finance talents with the right institutional knowledge to tackle environmental and sustainability challenges while balancing the needed economic development. We are excited that NUS is at the forefront in introducing a full-fledged Master’s programme in Sustainable and Green Finance in Singapore and Asia.”

As major global economies look to transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy, a major role has emerged for sustainable finance markets to promote and support the massive capital flows and investments necessary to facilitate this change. The sustainable finance market has grown and evolved rapidly, as investors and financiers increasingly channel capital to participate in the opportunities created by these disruptive forces and new investment products have emerged.

One of the clearest signs of the expansion and proliferation of sustainable finance has been the rapid growth of sustainable bonds. Several recent reports from market information providers such as Moody’s and ICE have pegged the market for sustainable bonds at $1 trillion of issuance annually, with forecasts for continued double-digit growth going forward. Sustainability-linked bonds, with terms tied to issuers’ ESG performance have emerged as the fastest growing sector of the market.

Singapore has emerged as a hub for financial services companies and ESG-focused data providers looking to capitalize on the growing ESG and sustainable finance opportunities in the Asian market. In September, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) launched a dedicated sustainable finance innovation unit in Singapore, and earlier last year, Moody’s announced a series of initiatives to expand its Singapore office aiming to spearhead ESG, following the establishment of its own ESG Solutions Group office in Singapore in February. 

The new Masters program, launched by the NUS Business School in collaboration with SGFIN, will focus on sustainable finance theories and research, as well as case studies on Asian companies and financial markets. According to NUS, students will be trained to identify environmental and business challenges, and to propose feasible financial services and solutions for real-world industry problems, including those relating to regulatory reporting, management of environmental risks, and sustainable investment.

Low Tuck Kwong Distinguished Professor Sumit Agarwal, Managing Director of SGFIN, said:

“We are passionate in nurturing a new generation of financial experts, who go beyond the traditional approach of maximising profits, who help sustainable businesses get more funding, and who will make Asia a greener place to live in.”