Category Archives: Undergraduate

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. 

William Knight wins Kent Student Award

The School of Economics is delighted to announce that final year student William Knight has been awarded a Kent Student Award for his outstanding contribution to fundraising. William has been a dedicated RaG Treasurer, fundraising and raising awareness for men’s mental health. He was presented his award on Friday 1 June at the 2018 Kent Student Awards Gala Dinner. The School of Economics would like to congratulate William for this fantastic achievement.

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!

Keynes College

Swale Academies Trust visits School of Economics

On Friday 23 March, we welcomed a group of students from two schools within the Swale Academies Trust. At the start of the day, students from the North School, Ashford and the Community College Whitstable were joined by Dr Joe Watkins from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, who ran an entertaining session on the ‘Maths of Juggling’.

Afterwards, PhD students Guillermo, Kemi, Mumba and Yannis led fun and engaging sessions to give students a basic understanding of economic principles, game theory, and how their maths skills can be applied. They delivered two workshops focused on the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Law of Diminishing Returns. After lunch, the students went on a short tour of the campus with Undergraduate Student Ambassadors.

The day finished with a prize presentation for the students who had accumulated the most points from the day’s activities, including a School of Economics hoodie and Easter eggs. The School would like to thank everyone who was involved, especially Guillermo, Kemi, Mumba and Yannis who put so much enthusiasm into the sessions that they delivered.

Students outside the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Civil Service Insight Day at Whitehall

Six of our Economics students were lucky enough to have been selected to attend a fantastic insight day in Whitehall on Wednesday 7 March. The day was co-organised by the Civil Service and the School of Economics and was hosted by the Civil Service Finance Fast Stream.

It was a very interesting and useful day involving tours of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Justice and the department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The students also had the opportunity to meet and chat with Civil Servants about their roles and see what it is like to work in there. The day ended with a trip to the House of Commons to listen to a debate.

Open Days 2017

Thank you to everyone who came to one of our Open Days this year.  As promised, here is a link to the School of Economics presentation slides:

We hope you enjoyed your day at Kent and found answers to your questions, however, if you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Dr Zaki Wahhaj

Expert comment: Female Rohingya refugees at risk of forced marriage

Dr Zaki Wahhaj from the School of Economics discusses the risk that young female Rohingya refugees are at increased risk of forced marriage as a result of their plight.

‘In recent weeks the plight of Rohingya refugees who have arrived in Bangladesh to escape violence in the Rakhine province of Myanmar has received wide coverage in the international news media. The United Nations has documented graphic accounts of sexual violence against Rohingya women and girls by Myanmar security forces.

‘Nearly half of the 400,000 Rohingya refugees who have arrived in Bangladesh are children and, according to the Unicef, over 1,200 “unaccompanied children are at particular risk for human trafficking, sexual abuse, child labor and child marriage.

‘The Rohingya refugees are in a part of the world where a family’s sense of ‘honour’ is often tied to the perceived ‘purity’ of their daughters and brides. And, in a political conflict, this cultural belief can be turned into a weapon to be used against the adversary.

‘Even in normal times, arranged marriages for adolescent girls is widely prevalent in South Asia used as a means to protect them against ‘sexual dishonour’, but families experiencing distress (particularly due to natural disasters) are even more prone to marry off young daughters to reduce their economic burden.

‘Therefore, the Rohingya children who have recently arrived in Bangladesh, even those accompanied by their families, face a high risk of early marriage. Recent research has documented that it has adverse life-changing consequences for the girls who experience it.  Ongoing interventions in Bangladesh suggests that a possible solution to minimizing these risk is the creation of safe spaces for adolescent girls within the refugee camps, providing education and training under the supervision of aid agencies.’


Article by Dan Worth, University of Kent Press Office

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.