Category Archives: Prospective Students

Enisa wins scholarship to attend Brussels Summer School

The School of Economics would like to congratulate second year Economics student Enisa Marku who was recently awarded a scholarship to attend Kent Summer School in Brussels in June. We caught up with Enisa to find out a little more about this fantastic opportunity.

What made apply to the summer scheme? 
I wanted to experience something new and maybe have something interesting to add to my CV. I chose the Brussels Summer School because I felt that the sessions covered really interesting topics. I’m from Italy, my parents are migrants that came to Italy from Albania in the 90’s: Therefore, the migrants issue is something that touches me. Also, I am from Italy and I decided to move to study in the UK and the summer before I moved, the Brexit referendum result came out.

This made me think: I come from an EU country, and I now live in one that chose to leave the EU. I wonder whether this will affect my EU citizenship rights, whether something will change for me, for my studies and for my rights of staying in the UK. In the summer school all these topics will be covered. It’s also a once in a lifetime experience. I don’t know if I will be able to spend two weeks somewhere learning about something new when I will start working. So I thought I should definitely seize the opportunity and give it a go.

What are you going to study at the summer school and what activities are planned?
The Summer School is two weeks long and everyday I will have to attend 4 hours of lectures and talks held by many subject experts. The main focus of the summer school is going to be the EU as a global organisation. We will therefore learn what the EU is and what being an EU citizen means. The role of the EU when it comes to global issues, referring to organisations like NATO and focusing on the migrant issue. We will also explore the topics related to Brexit. At the end, each group of students will have to present their own project related to what they have learnt in the two preceding weeks. Two days will be dedicated to trips: one to the EU Parliament and the other to Mons (a city near Brussels), and there will be a final elegant dinner to celebrate the end of the experience.

What are you looking forward to most?
Brussels has always been a place I wanted to visit and now I am looking forward to experiencing two full weeks of life there. I am sure I will have a great time. I know there will be students from different backgrounds and different countries from which I can learn new things and further widen my horizons. I can’t wait to visit the EU Parliament and all those places I usually see on TV and where important decisions are made. There will be serious moments where I will have lectures and I will have to squeeze my brain and try to understand all the new concepts. I will learn about topics I do not directly study for my Economics degree but that may be useful sooner or later.

I will also have time to go around and visit the city and the wonderful attractions such as the museums and the castles and, why not, enjoy some nice chocolate gauffre and french fries!

We wish Enisa all the best for her summer school experience in Brussels and look forward to finding out how she gets on when she returns!

Building a new home for our School

Work has started on the new School of Economics, which is due to open its doors in September 2019. Despite the challenging conditions of the snow at the end of February, the ground floor slab was poured on time. Over the past few weeks, the Willmott Dixon team have been continuing to excavate the foundations and install bolt sets. They are set to install a structural steel frame this month and after this, the landscape will start to change very quickly on site, so watch this space, exciting things to come.

A new home for our school

The School of Economics is excited to reveal plans for a move to a new building, which will provide a stronger visual focus, identity and community for the School. In particular, space which is open to all the School’s students will for the first time allow its undergraduate students a physical presence within that community. The building will provide the School with a modern, identifiable home.

The building will house improved facilities for students and staff, such as social spaces, meeting rooms and an IT suite. Two floors of one wing will house shared teaching space and the rest of the building will be dedicated for the School’s use.

It is planned the building will be ready in time for the start of the 2019-20 academic year.

Take a look at our website to see further details and architect’s images.

Keynes College

Clearing 2017

The University of Kent has again proved that it is a popular choice for Economics. The School of Economics has had an excellent year for recruitment and therefore was unable to partake in the Clearing bonanza. Thanks to all those who applied to us and we look forward to meeting our new students in September!

Applications for 2018 entry open on 6 September 2017.

 

Graduation at Canterbury Cathedral

Graduation and prizewinners 2017

It was a pleasure to celebrate with our new graduates and their families at a reception held on 10 July at the Cathedral Lodge in Canterbury.

During the event, the School awarded a number of prizes for outstanding achievement, and you can see all our prizewinners for 2017 on our website under Celebrating Success.

The reception was a fantastic way to mark the achievement of our students, and we would like to wish all our graduates the very best of luck for the future.

You can take a look at the photos from the event on the School’s Facebook page and on the @UniKentAlumni page, plus you can view the whole graduation ceremony on YouTube.

Professor Miguel Leon-Ledesma

Industry volatility and international trade

by Adina Ardelean, Miguel León-Ledesma and Laura Puzzello, discussion paper KDPE 1709, June 2017.

Non-technical summary

In modern theories of economic fluctuations, shocks that drive macroeconomic uncertainty are transformed into business cycles through a propagation mechanism. One such propagation mechanism can be inter-industry linkages: volatility at the industry level can translate into aggregate macroeconomic volatility. For this reason, understanding the sources of risk at the industry level is important. This is even more important in open economies, where industries are exposed to shocks arising in industries located in other countries.

In this paper, we ask the question what are the key sources of industry-level volatility in open economies? To do so, we separately identify how producer-country, industry, and demand shocks affect output volatility at the industry level as well as at the aggregate level. That is, we identify shocks that arise primarily at the level of the country where the industry is located, at the level of the industry regardless of location, and shocks arising at the destination markets for the industry’s products (which we loosely label demand shocks). Importantly, we explore the role played by international trade in two ways. First, our methodology separately accounts for demand shocks originating in the home and foreign markets. Second, we estimate the effect of trade openness on industrial volatility and its components allowing us to identify the main channels through which international trade affects industrial output volatility.

We exploit a multi-country, multi-industry dataset that is combined with bi-lateral trade statistics such that our unit of analysis is the amount sold in any destination market by an industry located in a particular country at a point in time. We use data for 34 countries, 19 manufacturing sectors, and 85 destination markets from 1980 to 2000. Methodologically, we develop a decomposition of this data structure that allows us to isolate the above mentioned sources of volatility.

Our results suggest that countries that are volatile in one industry tend to be volatile in other industries as well. Put simply, industrial output volatility does not depend substantially on industry-specific factors. It depends mostly on country-specific factors, such as exposure to aggregate shocks, sale diversification patterns, or both. Our decompositions show that demand risks account for most of the volatility of industrial output, with the contribution of trade-related demand risks depending on the composition of export destinations. We find that global demand risks and idiosyncratic risk to industries are very important drivers of volatility. Interestingly, at the aggregate level, idiosyncratic demand shocks appear to reduce volatility. This is because these shocks covary strongly negatively between industries, which we term “diversification through covariance”.

Finally, we find evidence that exports and intra-industry imports have opposite effects on industrial output volatility. In particular, exports reduce industrial volatility as they are targeted to countries with lower global demand volatility than the home market’s (a diversification effect). Intra-industry imports drive the positive relationship between industrial output volatility and trade at the industry level by increasing uncertainty in both domestic demand and production (competition and supply-chain effects).

You can download the complete paper here.

Government must think seriously about farm and rural support after Brexit

Experts from the School of Economics Centre for European Agri-Environmental Studies have said the government must create suitable replacement support for UK farmers once the country leaves the European Union and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments stop.

In a paper written for the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) by Professor Sophia Davidova, Dr Alastair Bailey and honorary Professor Ulrike Hotopp, they note that the loss of the CAP could have a significant effect on the UK farm economy, agri-environment and rural jobs.

Analysis shows that the removal of the CAP without a replacement could risk the loss of about 250,000 jobs in non-farm small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), by considering both the direct and indirect effects of farmers’ purchasing power.

Furthermore, the majority of affected jobs, around 200,000, would be in highly rural areas, which would have a significant negative impact on rural job markets and economies.

The paper also notes that currently more than half of UK farms are heavily reliant upon CAP payments for their survival. Therefore, the government must think seriously about post-Brexit support to be put in place to ensure that UK farmers continue to contribute around 60% of domestic food supplies and to maintain the 70% of the UK land area they look after.

The paper adds that the government should see the end of access to the CAP as an opportunity to create a more effective system of subsidies that avoids the current situation where large, profitable farms receive the largest subsidies.

Dr Alastair Bailey said the government should see the situation as an opportunity to create a replacement to the CAP that could ensure those most in need of support were given the biggest focus of any new proposals.

The paper, Agriculture in the UK, is the latest in NIESR’s General Election briefing series and has been written with the intention of providing informed and rigorous evidence on key areas of UK life in the run up to the General Election on 8 June.

-ENDS-

Article by Dan Worth, University of Kent Press Office

Press coverage generated by this article:

Farm Business: http://www.farmbusiness.co.uk/business/politics/government-must-think-seriously-about-farm-and-rural-support-after-brexit.html

Farming Life: http://www.farminglife.com/farming-news/government-must-think-seriously-about-farm-and-rural-support-after-brexit-1-7982890

FG Insight: https://www.fginsight.com/news/250000-non-farming-jobs-to-go-if-farm-payments-ditched-21497

Yorkshire Post: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/thousands-of-jobs-dependent-on-future-farm-support-payments-study-finds-1-8569932

The Scottish Farmer: http://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/news/15334219.CAP_exit_threatens_supply_chain_jobs/

Farmers’ Union of Wales: http://fuw.org.uk/if-agriculture-fails-so-will-our-rural-communities-fuw-warns/?platform=hootsuite

Narberth & Whitland Observer: http://www.narberth-and-whitland-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=110931&headline=Straws%20in%20the%20Wind%20by%20Meyrick%20Brown&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet matching app by Kent student wins £1,000 investment

Student ideas pitched at the Business Start-Up Journey final impress judges so much they invest an extra £1,500 into three proposals.

Second-year Economics and Sociology student Jaye Graham won the overall competition, receiving a £1,000 investment for her business, Pawfect Match, which utilises a Tinder-style interface to match unhomed cats and dogs with potential owners. This investment was double the event’s usual £500 prize as the judges were so impressed by the idea.

Furthermore, two students from Kent Business School (KBS) were awarded £500 towards their ideas after the judges felt compelled to provide funding to their projects too.

These awards went to Vasu Sarin for his business Tab, which uses wearable technology to allow care homes to remotely monitor elderly people’s health, and Anton Carter for his app Phonic that scans text and reads it aloud to aid learning.

In total eight students took part in the final, marking the culmination of the nine-month Business Start-Up Journey programme which began in November 2016 and run by the KBS’s Accelerator Space for Innovation and Responsible Enterprise (ASPIRE).

Around 100 students entered the competition, with each meeting with ASPIRE entrepreneur in residence Adam Smith to discuss their ideas. All students were also able to attend a series of workshops exploring and explaining various areas of essential business knowledge such as sources of finance, marketing and intellectual property rights.

Eighty ideas were submitted for consideration and 40 were chosen for progression. These students were then invited on a two-day business ‘bootcamp’ where they collaborated, pitched to each other and took part in teambuilding to further hone their ideas.

From these final ideas, the eight pitchers and three video submissions were selected for the final event where they presented their ideas to a panel of judges:

  • Daniel Rubin – Founder and Executive Chairman Dune Group
  • Steve Lowe – MD Elsatex
  • Adam Baker – Santander Universities
  • Dean Johnson –  CEO Haag Streit UK
  • Brenda Okandju – KBS alumna, Business Start-Up Journey finalist (2016-17)

The Business Start-Up Journey also sends two students to the European Innovation Academy – a three-week tech start-up festival which takes place around the world.

This year students Joe Rovira (final year English student) and Laura Candrian (KBS) will be going to Turin and Lisbon, respectively.

Joe is developing an app which connects people to share language skills and Laura’s idea is CoZero (working title) an app that offers people healthier lifestyle choices about how to lower their carbon emissions.

-ENDS-

Article by Dan Worth, University of Kent Press Office

Dr Christian Siegel

Labour market polarisation started as early as the 1950s

Research by Dr Christian Siegel from the School of Economics has found that labour market polarisation caused by the decline of traditional middle-income jobs relative to low- and high-income jobs started as early as the 1950s.

The loss of middle-income manufacturing jobs, as witnessed in the US and most Western European countries, has usually been attributed to the rise of computers and software systems in the 1980s.

This is because computers allowed repetitive tasks to be automated, causing the loss of many manufacturing jobs such as in the automobile industry, but they complemented high-end service jobs, thereby increasing the demand for jobs in areas like banking or law.

However, Dr Siegel’s research examined US census data between 1950 and 2007 to assess types of employment and average salaries and found the trend for wage inequality started as far back as the 1950s.

The research attributes this to the major structural economic changes that occurred at this time, as the service economy within the US began to evolve.

This reduced the number of middle-income jobs available, and meant more workers ended up in either low-income or high-income employment as there were not as many middle-income jobs available.

This meant high-income jobs, as well as low-income jobs, grew at a faster rate, in terms of wages and employment opportunities,compared to middle-income jobs. This trend was then amplified by the arrival of IT systems in the 1980s, rather than caused by it.

The findings could have an impact on how governments tackle the growing issue of wage inequality as it suggests that one of the causes of rising wage inequality is the decline of manufacturing relative to services.

Since this structural change is inevitably linked to economic growth, reverting it would be very costly and lower average incomes. A better way to address challenges from rising inequality would be redistributive policies.

The paper, titled Job Polarization and Structural Change will be published in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, and was co-authored with Dr Zsofia Barany at Sciences Po.

Article by Dan Worth, University of Kent Press Office