Amsterdam, November 22 2019
Today Amsterdam was the scenery for the third meeting of the EUFin project. A cross-European project on financial literacy partnered by professionals from 14 partners, including universities, secondary schools and intermediary organizations dealing with financial literacy promotion.
After one year the first results seems promising. During the first year we analysed the current situation in the partner countries and listed the different initiatives already undertaken in Belgium, Estonia, Italy, Slovakia, and the Netherlands. The cross-country comparative study presented today by our Belgian colleague Kenneth from the KU Leuven revealed that locus of control matters a lot. People who believe that what happens in their lives is the result of their own efforts show also a higher level of financial literacy. The gender gap is also present for financial literacy, with women scoring in general lower. However, the Netherlands seems a noteworthy exemption. Differences between countries exists in many domains. Another example is savings behaviour. In countries with high government debts such as Belgium and Italy, the population seems to take care of itself by a good saving attitude. The comparative study together with the country specific study texts appear in a book that will come out in March 2020.
Another goal of the EUFin project is sharing the best practices developed in the 5 partner countries. Marta from Italy showed us the project ‘Making Economy’ which is a nice example of peer education: 17-year old pupils educate 12 year olds on financial issues. After this Johan locked us in his virtual escape room. Only the right answers on some financial questions leaded us to the exit. Italy was able to escape first the room where a bottle Heineken was waiting on them.
In the afternoon we spend some time in groups to discuss the development of several of the outputs of the project. Very promising ideas for the development of materials which will stimulate financial education for the secondary as well as the higher education were discussed.
Next time we meet in Milano. But we are already thinking about the first multiplier event in Tallinn where best practices and academic insights on financial education will be shared with teachers and policy makers around Europe.
Kenneth De Beckker, Heli Lehtsaar-Karma, & Anna Cabajová