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Drexel University

How Drexel University Uses Preqin Data to Develop Practical Learning in Alternative Investments



Firm Type: Academic Institution
Asset Class: Private Equity, Venture Capital
Use Case: Academic Research, Teaching and Learning
Users: Professors and Students
Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Product: Preqin Pro, Preqin Insights
Website: www.drexel.edu

Drexel University revolutionized their experiential learning program to the benefit of students, lecturers, and the wider industry.

As a leading academic player in the alternatives industry, Drexel University offers comprehensive educational programs designed to prepare the next generation of alternatives professionals.

With a strong emphasis on experiential education, the university focuses on helping students develop their knowledge and skills through practical experiences outside of the traditional academic setting. By using real-world applications and examples, it encourages students to ‘learn by doing’ and maximizes the practical value of the learning experiences it delivers.
Preqin’s database is comprehensive and provides detailed information covering funds and managers across alternatives asset classes. This is information that we lacked in the other databases available in the library.
Prof. George Tsetsekos. Francis Professor of Finance at the LeBow College of Business, Drexel University

The challenge: Taking the theory into the real world

Drexel University was looking for a way to transition from a theory-based approach to more practical, research-led class assignments in finance courses offered to undergraduate and graduate students.

This ambition was pioneered by Professor of Finance George Tsetsekos, based upon his experiences engaging with students:

“When you’re in class, as a faculty member, and you talk about private equity, the last thing that students want to hear is theories. Instead, they expect actual information and data.”

To bring theory and practice across alternative investments, Drexel University required access to real-world data. This access also needed to support faculty research on private markets, further enhancing learning experiences the school could deliver.

The solution: Institution-wide access to Preqin data

Drexel University scoped out what its aims were for working with an alternative data partner:

  • Encourage student engagement and learning across alternatives
  • Expand academic literature and research within private equity and venture capital
  • Enhance career development opportunities within alternative investments for students
  • Promote collaboration between LeBow College of Business and industry professionals
After searching the market with these objectives in mind, Drexel University engaged Preqin.

Offering comprehensive data covering over 40,000 firms and 100,000 funds, the university felt Preqin data was best positioned to help its students and faculty with research and analysis across alternative assets.

Due to the reliability and accuracy of the data, and the ease-of-use of Preqin Pro, Drexel University was able to seamlessly integrate the platform and data into its experiential learning efforts. Exposure to real-time data and information enabled students to learn about the structure of funds, details of funding, and more, and apply this knowledge to class discussions on private equity and venture capital.

The results: enhanced engagement, problem solving, and preparation

The incorporation of Preqin data into Drexel’s LeBow College of Business has proved a critical success and helped faculty radically improve the value of their private equity classes while facilitating research across other alternative assets.

With Preqin data available to every student at the touch of a button, it is now possible to set new and more practical assignments, creating valuable opportunities for learning.

Professor Tsetsekos uses Preqin data to set student activities. They act as an investor conducting due diligence on a fund manager, or an analyst at an investment bank tasked with helping to finance, with private equity or venture funds, a company acquisition. In the past, such practical challenges were impossible, however the Preqin platform has opened the door for students to apply theoretical learning to practical scenarios.

Additionally, Preqin data has helped the LeBow College of Business build engagement among the wider private equity community, with students solving real-world problems for local firms.
This database helps students research alternatives companies, so they can knock on the door, submit CVs, and pursue the potential for interviews.
Prof. George Tsetsekos. Francis Professor of Finance at the LeBow College of Business, Drexel University

Why Drexel University chose Preqin

  • To enhance the practical side of education, providing real-world data, examples, and analytics to dominate theoretical learning
  • To aid faculty research across private equity, specifically in corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions
  • To drive collaboration with private equity firms outside the university with practical problem-solving
  • To set students on the path of a career in alternatives, by offering them database tools and analyses useful for preparing for interviews and searches for possible employment opportunities

About Drexel University

Founded in 1891, Drexel University is widely regarded as one of the top private academic institutions in the United States. It delivers world-class undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs across a wide range of subjects, including courses in private equity and other alternative investments. The university is well known for its co-op program and operates at the forefront of academic research in the finance sector.

Drexel University prides itself on providing hands on, practical learning experiences that prepare students for the working world. This is reflected in its teaching philosophy, the methods it uses, its experiential, co-operative educational approach, and the research partners it works with.
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