Schools event to boost learning on Economics

Forty pupils from across Glasgow City Region Schools attended an event at the University of Strathclyde to learn about Economics, how it is applied in a practical context and the type of jobs available from studying it.

The event, held at the beginning of March, was hosted by a team from the Fraser of Allander Institute, a leading independent economic research institute focused on the Scottish economy and part of the University’s Department of Economics.

Pupils, mostly in their fourth or fifth years, heard from a range of speakers including the Institute’s Deputy Director, Mairi Spowage, who spoke about the role of Economics in addressing some of the world’s major problems and in shaping policy for key political issues in Scotland. Presentations were also delivered by Andrew Hebden from the Bank of England and James Black who gave an honest overview of his first three years’ experience working as an Applied Economist at the Institute after graduating.

The session also included an interactive discussion where the young people teamed up with staff in groups to discuss some of the challenges for the Scottish Economy and then presented their thoughts to the whole group.

This formed part of the Economic Futures initiative which FoA run on behalf of all Universities in Scotland and which provide a series of programmes and events to showcase opportunities and learning in applied economics.

It was also arranged as part of the strategic partnership with Glasgow City Region with whom the Institute is working to develop a bespoke economic model to assist with future plans and policy development.

A number of pupils provided feedback, including Emma, Kirsty and Emily from Mearns Castle in East Renfrewshire (right to left) 

Emma McKinney:

‘The event provided a great opportunity for us to learn more about what Economics is about and the career options related to it as an area of study. The presentations were really interesting and have given me a greater insight into how Economics can provide the tools to solve some of the world’s key problems.’

Kirsty MacDonald:

‘I really enjoyed today – particularly the interactive session. Like Emma, I’m planning to study Politics at University and am considering Economics as a second subject. So this has been particularly useful in giving me a better understanding of what it involves.’

Emily Halpin:

‘I’ve already applied to study Economics at University. Today has been really helpful in giving me a better understanding of how it is applied in a practical sense and also what it might be like as a career. I really enjoyed the session where James told us all about the first three years of his working life as an Applied Economist at Fraser of Allander Institute.’

Lucy Gorman (below) from Clydeview Academy in Inverclyde said: 

With never having the opportunity in school to study economics and deciding that it would be my degree choice, I found the event very useful. It provided me with a taster as to what my future studies will look like and has made me excited for starting university in September. All speakers were very informative and gave different angles on the subject as a whole. I also enjoyed the group activity where we discussed solutions to problems affecting our society today and in the near future. It was a worthwhile event and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the subject!

Future similar sessions are planned.