Stefan Kull, you have been teaching across all grades during your career, starting with Primary School and Grammar School and up to University level. Where does your passion for teaching come from?
I came into contact with teaching at quite an early stage. For Primary School, I attended a comprehensive school with several age groups. It was the norm that you helped younger pupils and explained things to them. My teacher must have noticed quite early on that I have a gift for explaining complex contexts in a comprehensible manner. Even 40 years later, in my role as an MSc in Banking and Finance lecturer, this is still my core area of competence.
You teach the subjects of Macro Economics and Behavioural Finance in the MSc in Banking and Finance course. Could you give a concrete example of what your lessons look like?
Our lessons always cover half a day. This enables us to thoroughly deal with a topic. After all, hardly a week goes by in Macro Economics without any relevant economic changes. I then prepare my lessons using relevant news articles or charts. An example? If the Federal Reserve decides to adjust its base rate, we discuss the reasons for this decision and the consequences for financial markets and the real economy - also taking into account the Swiss national economy. We also critically reflect on textbook theories and show where their limitations lie. This approach doesn’t just build students’ structural knowledge, but also trains their thinking skills.
What teaching and learning methods are employed for the MSc in Banking and Finance?
Based on real problem definitions, methods employed always serve to reach a goal. I personally employ many different methods. With regard to teaching methods, I use dialogue and tutorials, for instance. With regard to learning methods, we use simulations (networks) with presentations or class discussions.
What is the usual size of your classes?
Between 20 and 40 students depending on the course. This size class allows me to create interactive classes and provides for co-operative learning. It is a very personal atmosphere.
What would you like to provide MSc in Banking and Finance students with?
I would firstly like to enable students to form their own, scientifically substantiated opinion. Secondly, our students should be able to discuss and resolve complex problems in a team. In an age of digitalisation, it is no longer difficult to simulate economic events. But what, for instance, are the conclusions corporate management can draw for its own company from these? Thirdly, I would like put across enjoyment of this field and motivate students to keep getting involved in economic topics, even after graduation.
Do lessons also result in discussions and co-operations which go beyond actual lessons?
Students write up several papers with us. On the one hand, this can result in practical partnerships with companies, on the other, in «academic output» in the shape of academic publications.
When are you satisfied with your work in your role as lecturer?
If I just happen to meet former students and they look back on their lessons in a positive manner, saying that what they have learned was useful for their professional and private lives. That happened again just recently at the airport – it was a great pleasure and motivated me for the future.