Monthly Archives: September 2012

School expert appointed to Defra’s Economic Advisory Panel

Professor Rob Fraser of the School of Economics has been appointed to sit on the newly formed Economic Advisory Panel to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The panel will provide advice, support and new research insights to Defra’s economists and policymakers. Rob Fraser is Professor of Agricultural Economics and has an international research reputation as a policy economist, specialising in both agri-environmental and invasive species policy design and evaluation.

One key issue for the panel is likely to be environmental regulation and its relationship with innovation, growth and business behaviours.

The panel will hold its inaugural meeting later this month.


Purpose of Defra’s Economic Advisory Panel

The role of the DEAP is to provide an independent challenge and support capacity to Defra’s economists.


  • To challenge, steer and strategically review Defra’s approach to economic analysis in specific areas
  • To provide new ideas and insights and connect Defra to cutting edge economic research
  • To provide advice as requested on specific economic issues
  • To advise on and critically assess how Defra collects and utilises economic evidence and advice
  • Individual members may also be asked to provide advice or support or be commissioned to undertake particular pieces of work on an ad hoc basis

School ranked 5th in UK according to NSS

keynes-squareThe School of Economics has been ranked in the top five economics departments in the UK, for the fourth year in a row, according to the 2012 National Student Survey (NSS). The School has a 95% student satisfaction rate, an increase of 2% over the last academic year. Individual scores include first for Organisation and Management (96%), second for teaching (95%) and third for Academic Support (90%).

Scores also remain high in other national surveys:

Head of School, Alan Carruth, said: ‘This year we have the largest cohort of undergraduate and postgraduate students in the School’s history. I am extremely pleased that the School has been recognised for continuing to improve on the quality of its teaching and the support given to students.’

The NSS is a national initiative, conducted annually since 2005. The survey is aimed at all final-year undergraduates in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as those attending 15 out of 19 HEIs in Scotland. There are 23 core questions, relating to the following aspects of the student learning experience: teaching; assessment and feedback; academic support; organisation and management; learning resources; personal development; overall satisfaction; and students’ union.

The NSS is organised by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in partnership with the government and the National Union of Students, and is carried out by independent market research company Ipsos-MORI. Full NSS results are available at

Click here to read about the overall results for the University of Kent.