Throughout the day, sixth form economists were exposed to the economics that often escapes the syllabus such as development economics and globalisation’s role in the financial crisis and the future of the UK economy. The diversity of the lectures and the novelty of their subjects helped to stimulate interest throughout the day.
The first lecture was delivered by Alain Anderton, AQA’s chief examiner, who spoke on the future of the British economy, with particular reference to how the UK will fit into the future world economic order. This angle on globalisation was refreshing as we often hear about how TNCs (Transational Corporations) and western culture impacts upon the Third world, but Mr Anderton focused on how globalisation is affecting the UK’s economy.
Following Alain Anderton’s lecture, Dr Mallard introduced the next speaker, Dr Colin Lawson who was his former PhD tutor and also Mr Harrison’s undergraduate tutor. Dr Lawson lectures at the University of Bath and is an experienced government economic advisor for many eastern European states. He was therefore extremely well qualified to talk to us about the economics of switching from a planned economy to a free market – the situation that many; if not all eastern European states now find themselves in. The subject was far removed from anything on the syllabus and it was a fantastic opportunity to glean an insight into the real world application of our study of free market economics as well as finding out more about the inner workings of other economic systems.
The third lecture was given by a postgraduate student at the University of Sussex: Gauri Misra. Miss Misra spoke of the growing power her native country India is experiencing in the global economy. Miss Misra gave a general overview of the growth of the BRICS followed by a more detail account of how India is becoming a future economic giant. Her expertise in developmental economics was clear. The path to India’s modernization provided the structure for her lecture and after her closing lines the whole room was left in no doubt as to India’s current global position and how far it has to go.
The final lecture was given by Dr Bruce Morley, also from the University of Bath. Dr. Morley’s lecture was the most technical of the four lectures and aimed to give an insight into how increasing globalisation has caused the extent of the financial crisis of the past five years. His focus on the technical aspects of the macro economy and the financial industry was a little hard to follow at times but as a speaker he was constantly engaging.
Overall, the conference was a great success; students were exposed to new areas of economics which will be beneficial for both A-level and University applications. We were given a wider view of the economy, came to realize that we are now living in a truly global economy.
Hugo Hayes (BH L6)