Monday, October 11, 2010

Thinking Ahead...Already!

There's a new module choice for your second year now, relative to what you could have studied had you started your degree two years ago (i.e., it's starting this year) - econ217ab. It's called the Contemporary UK Economy, and aims to cover contemorary issues relating to the UK economy - it does what it says on the tin.

Toby Kendall this term will talk about amongst other things immigration and student fees, two big issues on the political agenda currently, and ones you no doubt have opinions on. I'll also talk about the economics of sport this term before moving on to the global economic crisis and the UK's part in it, before talking about monetary and fiscal policy.

Today the first mootings of what will be said when a big review of education (by Lord Browne) funding is released tomorrow were released and discussed. Prof. Michael Arthur of Leeds University was on the radio this morning talking about how fees might be arranged if universities, as is expected by some, are given the freedom to set fees themselves. Classroom only courses, such as economics, would require something in the region of six to seven thousand pounds per student, with the sciences (medical, physical and otherwise) requiring a lot more.

That would just be a cost-based approach - to try and ensure that the system is fully funded based on demand. That wouldn't even be an outcomes approach, which you might expect - if you can get a bit of paper that shows the world how great you are, and allows you to earn more, in a purely free market you'd expect to pay some money for that. So on that basis, then of the classroom courses you might expect to pay more for an economics degree since it leads you towards higher earning careers in banking and finance, potentially.

If this discussion starts to offend your principles, I'd invite you to think about it over the coming year, and sign up for econ217ab in your second year where we'll discuss all of these kinds of issues and invite you to apply economic theory and reasoning to them. It's fascinating stuff...

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