Category Archives: Current Students

Six weeks to go until School moves to new home

With less than six weeks to go until the School of Economics moves the brand new Kennedy Building, work is under way to prepare the building for the move in at the start of July.

Inside the building, furniture is being installed, final checks are being made before the School vacates Keynes College and moves to the state-of-the-art Kennedy Building. In an effort to reduce waste, the School is making a conscious effort to recycle where possible, instead of throwing things away. The recycling efforts will continue in the Kennedy building with the removal of personal bins. Outside the building, plants and grass are beginning to take shape, greatly helped by the recent spring weather.

If you are on campus, why not take a walk past to see the latest developments.

Labelled loans and sanitation investments

Dr Bansi Malde co-wrote a blog post on her research into sanitation in India, which featured in the Ideas for India blog. Rural Indian households report lack of affordability as the main reason for not having a toilet. Bansi’s article investigates – through an experiment in rural Maharashtra – whether microcredit labelled for sanitation can increase sanitation investments. It finds that targeted households demand the sanitation loans, and toilet uptake increases by 9 percentage points; however, roughly half of the loans were not used for sanitation.

See full Ideas for India blog post here.

School welcomes Prof Jeffrey Wooldridge for Q&A and book signing

On Wednesday 15 May, the School of Economics had the pleasure of welcoming Professor Jeffrey Wooldridge from Michigan State University for a Q&A and book signing, followed by a drinks reception. Professor Wooldridge is a globally recognised econometrician, lecturer and author, who wrote Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach, which is one of our core textbooks.

The Q&A session was hosted by Dr Olena Nizalova, who had been taught by Professor Wooldridge during her studies. The session focused on both the personal and professional aspects of Professor Wooldridge’s life, during which he discussed the role of education and what is needed to truly evaluate teachers and schools. He examined the challenges that analysts face when dealing with large amounts of money and talked about his work as a consultant for the US government and for large international cooperations.

Following the Q&A session, both students and staff enjoyed the opportunity to get their textbooks signed by the Professor, together with a photograph. Professor Wooldridge’s publishers Cengage and Blackwell’s bookshop were also present at the event.

A video of the Q&A session is available here. 

Prof Jeffrey M. Wooldridge Q&A and book signing

Professor Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, author of the Cengage textbook Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach, from Michigan State University will deliver a Q&A session at the School of Economics, led by Dr Olena Nizalova. The event will take place on Wednesday 15 May from 6.00PM to 7.00PM in KLT1 (Canterbury campus) and will examine his work which has helped find answers to real life questions. Audience participation is encouraged, so email any questions you may have to econstudentexperience@kent.ac.uk prior to the event.

The Q&A session will focus on:

  • Education and what is needed to truly evaluate teachers and schools
  • The challenges that analysts face in situations that involve large amounts of money
  • His consulting work for the U.S. government
  • The challenges of obtaining empirical findings which go against your political beliefs

The Q&A session will be followed by a book signing and drinks reception hosted by Cengage.

About Professor Jeffrey M. Wooldridge
Jeffrey Wooldridge is an American Econometrician at Michigan State University. He is known for his theoretical contributions to analysis of cross-sectional and panel data.

Book a space
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/19947814050
For more information, email: econstudentexperience@kent.ac.uk

School of Economics holds annual networking evening

On Tuesday 12 March, seven of our alumni came back to Kent to talk to our current students about their experiences of life after graduation.

The returning alumni were using their Economics degrees in diverse careers such as finance, government, marketing and think tanks.

Over 50 students had a fantastic opportunity to talk to our alumni and we would like to send a huge thank you to Gary Chimuzinga, Dean Hochlaf, Peter Shaw, Fahad Sawar, David Mensah, Nick Hayes and Aniq Ahmed for attending.

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.

Prof Denise Osborn leads talk on Women in Economics

On Tuesday 13 November, we had the pleasure of welcoming Professor Denise Osborn to the School of Economics. Both Secretary General for the Royal Economics Society and Emeritus Professor at the University of Manchester, Denise delivered an inspirational talk on the role of women in Economics, focusing on research and her own personal experience.

Looking back on her career, she examined the perception of women in the field of Economics over time, comparing and contrasting the start of her career in 70s, where she was very much a minority, to now where more and more women are joining the field. Denise compared the gender distribution of researchers within Economics and looked into why Economics is still one of the lowest STEM subjects for its percentage of women. Denise concluded her talk by looking at the actions that are being taken to challenge gender norms and encourage more women to consider a career in Economics. The session finished with a lively Q&A session with the audience.

School holds its annual ‘Working in Finance’ event

On Tuesday 16 October, the School of Economics held its annual ‘Working in Finance’ talk. Two of our alumni, Nuno Nunes and Michael Thurlow, returned to Kent to talk about their experiences of working in the financial sector.

The event was a great success, with some interesting discussion and useful advice followed by an informal networking session.

Huge thank you to Nuno and Michael for giving up their time and making the event such a success. The School would also like to thank Katie Marshall and Harriet Mowatt-Dykes for organising such a great event.

Listen to a recording of the event here.