Monthly Archives: February 2019

Keynes College

Kent Economics Summit

The first Kent Economics Summit – ‘Economics in Today’s World’ – will take place on Saturday 2 March in Templeman Lecture Theatre (11am – 5pm).

This student-led initiative, involving both the Kent Economics Society and Kent Invest will include inspiring talks from:

  • Dr Linda Yueh, economist, broadcaster and writer
  • Dr James Warren, research economist and School of Economics alumnus
  • Iria Camba Florez de Losada, Senior Analyst at Compass Lexecon and School of Economics alumna

The day will also include an entertaining debate on the topic ‘Is Economics Useless?’, featuring Economics lecturers, Drs Alfred Duncan and Amrit Amirapu. Plus there will be a chance to network with speakers and other students over lunch and refreshments.

It promises to be an interesting and fun day – so make sure you book your place here.

The summit is open to all Kent students and is sponsored by the Kent Opportunity Fund.

Road pricing key to solving UK traffic woes

Emeritus Professor Roger Vickerman explains why tackling congestion on UK road requires innovative new ideas, chiefly a form of road pricing that charges for use rather than simply vehicle ownership.

‘A year on from the report that UK drivers spend an average of 31 hours a year in traffic jams we now have evidence on the most congested roads in the UK. And this shows that although the worst trouble spots are in London the problem affects all our big cities. I have argued before that what is needed is a nationwide system of charging for roads by use – road pricing. But this would need to be embedded within a much more strategic rethink of how we provide the transport we need for our cities and towns.

‘We already have blunt instruments such as the London Congestion Charge, but a sophisticated system of electronic tolling would charge drivers for their actual use of the system and by differentiating by the time of day can encourage those with the flexibility to adjust their journeys to times of lower traffic volumes. The current system of charging motorists is a tax on car purchase and ownership, and doesn’t distinguish by area of residence or actual use.

‘Cars spend an average 95% of their life parked. Residents of rural areas, many of whom have no alternative to using a car, typically travel on the least congested roads, but pay the same in road tax and fuel duty. Such drivers would be better off under a system which charged for the actual use of roads that reflected levels of congestion. The overall cost to road users would be less; the estimated average cost of that 31 hours of wasted time is £1,168; that would pay for a lot of miles. The usual response is to call for more road building, and whilst that and junction improvements can help in some cases, the evidence suggests that traffic typically expands to fill the space available.

‘But it is not just about cars competing for road space. Much of the increase in traffic in towns comes from van traffic – typically delivering our online purchases – we have to recognise that this too has a cost that will have to be paid for. Eventually, as with any limited resource, the only solution is one that uses price as a means of allocation – that’s how we charge for the alternatives such as bus, rail or air. And if all modes of transport were priced on the same basis we could make a better-informed choice of the right one to use for each journey.

‘This shows the need for a much more integrated approach to transport planning embracing new technologies both in the delivery of transport services and in paying for them. Politicians need to grasp this nettle now.’

-ENDS-
Original article by Dan Worth, University of Kent Press Office

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Undergraduate Survey Month at Kent (including prize draw for Economics students who complete NSS!)

The National Student Survey (NSS) and the Undergraduate Survey (UGS) launched on 28 January 2019. School of Economics students need to complete either the NSS (mainly for final-year undergraduate students) or the UGS (you don’t need to complete both!).

National Student Survey (NSS)
All eligible students who complete the NSS by Monday 18 February 2019 can claim a £10 Amazon voucher. In addition, Economics students will be entered into a prize draw for an iPad* and four £50 vouchers!

If you’re eligible to participate in this year’s survey, you will have received an email invitation from Ipsos MORI on Thursday 31 January.

To claim your £10 Amazon voucher:
• complete the survey before Monday 18 February 2019 and forward your NSS survey completion confirmation email to nssawards@kent.ac.uk by 18 February

To enter the School of Economics prize draw:
• complete the survey and forward your NSS survey completion confirmation email to economics@kent.ac.uk.

Join us to complete the survey on a computer:

The School has booked computer rooms at the following times, and we’re providing a FREE drink and chocolate!!

Week 17
Tue 12 Feb 11.00-12.00 (SibPC1)
Wed 13 Feb 11.00-12.00 (KSA1)
Fri 15 Feb 15.00-16.00 (KSA1)

Week 20
Mon 4 Mar 13.00-14.00 (KSA1)
Wed 6 Mar 09.30-11.00 (CSPC1)
Wed 6 Mar 11.30-13.00 (KSA1)
Thu 7 Mar 13.00-15.00 (KSA1)

If you’ve already completed the survey, email your confirmation to economics@kent.ac.uk to enter the prize draw, or come along and join us for a drink!

* The prize draw for an Apple iPad will take place if the School of Economics reaches its 80% student completion target.

The NSS is an annual independent survey giving students across the UK the opportunity to give their feedback on their experiences of university study – both what you liked and what you think could be improved. It will run from Monday 28 January 2019 until Tuesday 30 April 2019 and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

For more information, and to take the survey, visit http://www.kent.ac.uk/student/surveys

Undergraduate Survey (UGS)

Throughout February, the University is also running the Undergraduate Survey (UGS) – the UGS is an internally run survey of all students on Undergraduate level programmes at the University of Kent (excluding those who are eligible to complete the NSS). It launched on 28 January and closes on Friday 1 March 2019.

If you are eligible, you will have received an email from Professor April McMahon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education. Completing this survey helps the University understand what we do well and what we need to do better and is one of the most powerful ways you can have your voice heard at Kent.

The survey asks the same questions that are in the NSS as well as a section about accommodation and some research questions for the Q-Step Centre and the Student Success Project. It should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.