Students at the University of Manchester established the Post Crash Economics society last week in order to change their University’s Economics degree syllabus.

Inspired by the 2008 financial crisis, Post Crash Economics have been described as ‘plotting a quiet revolution’, as they call for lecturers to provide further explanation as to what happened and why.

University academics have been criticised for being unable to predict the financial crash, with lectures deemed to be focusing exclusively on neo-liberal economic theory, without modern day applications.

The Post Crash Economics Society hope to see their lead followed by other Higher Education institutions across the country.

They have already gained the attention of several top economists, including Ha-Joon Chang, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge.

“Modules related to economic history should be made compulsory in first year”.

Impact asked UoN Economics students what they really think about their economics syllabus.

Aggie Kasicka, a second year student studying Economics with Hispanic Studies, told Impact that she finds the syllabus to be very theory orientated. Modules such as ‘current economic issues’ and ‘international trade’ are available, but only as 10 credit options.

Nicky Mounteney, a second year Economics student and the Social Secretary of the Nottingham Economics and Finance Society (NEFS), agreed that “modules related to economic history should be made compulsory in first year”, and are important in getting a proper understanding of the subject.

A UoN Professor of Economics, Gianni De Fraja, told Impact that he doesn’t agree with claims that there is a sole focus on ‘neoliberal’ theory at undergraduate level.

Despite this, Economics Education Representative, Georgia Dowler, and lecturer, Trudy Owens, both of whom meet with the Undergraduate Teaching Committee (UGTC), assured Impact that they have received no complaints about the syllabus.

Owens argues that that the UGTC is effective in combination with other school committees, and “gives us the opportunity to see the school as a whole and reflect on best practices”.

The Committee meets once a term, and are currently running a mid term syllabus review, leading up to an independent review which they are anticipating in the near future.

“Studying real life problems without the proper tools would be wrong, and we would do our students a great disservice if we did so”.

A UoN Professor of Economics, Gianni De Fraja, told Impact that he doesn’t agree with claims that there is a sole focus on ‘neoliberal’ theory at undergraduate level.

He confirmed that in order to be able to criticise a theory, it is essential to understand it correctly. Even though first and second year core economics modules are very theory based, he told Impact that there is a good reason for this.

He concluded, “I do think that diving in to study real life problems without the proper tools would be wrong, and we would do our students a great disservice if we did so”.

Hannah Kirby

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