Tenth anniversary of the Economics Subject Centre

The Economics Subject Centre (known since 2004 as the Economics Network) has been supporting learning and teaching in university economics for eleven years. On our tenth anniversary, with help from the academic community, the team made a short film which looks at the centre's impact.

Film

Event at HM Treasury

The film was shown at a reception in the Churchill Room of HM Treasury on 26th April 2010, attended by academics from around the UK and other representatives of the community.

Economics Network team Student placements Crowd John Sloman speaks Alan Hutton and Jessica Thomson UWE visitors Hannah and Miriam Andy Ross and Rebecca Taylor

Ten successes

We compiled a report on the impact of the subject centre over 10 years, with supporting evidence, in a Word document.

Quotes

Here are some selected quotes from others about our work:

“The Economics Network teaching support team at Bristol made a presentation at our residential departmental meeting which gave us an invaluable sense of how economics teaching was evolving in the UK. The presentation drew heavily on detailed subject knowledge, as well as extensive links within the profession possessed by the group, to deliver information and advice about economics teaching that would not have been provided by a more generic service.” (Paul Anand, at the time Head of Economics at the Open University)

“As an academic working on learning and teaching issues within the area of economics I have found the Economics Subject Centre of the HEA to be the part of the HEA which has been (by far) the most useful aspect of that organisation for me in developing my pedagogic ideas and practice. This has been both because of the grassroots and subject-based nature of the Centre and also because of the high quality of the material produced by it, both in written form and through workshop and conference delivery, in my experience.” (Andrew Kilminster in comment on Times Higher Education article)

“The Network manages a very wide portfolio of activities extremely well and is making a developmental contribution to teaching and learning in economics at national and departmental levels, rather than just being a source of information. It is highly regarded by all those with whom it has contact and has successfully built up a supportive network with a strong commitment to teaching and learning.”
(External Evaluator’s report 2007)

“The thing that is really good about it is just that it is run by Economists so you feel that when you are in contact with them you are talking to people who are facing the same kind of problems that you are in terms of getting the subject across to students in an interesting way and things like that.” (Senior Lecturer)

“They have a difficult job to do but are very good at being sensitive, both in handling confidential survey data and in wider issues.” (Lecturer)

“The Economics Network is seen in the sector as one of the best. It provides vital material to aid teaching in the University sector. The Economics Department here has found it very useful in general ways – the website is wonderful and the teaching aid booklets on things like Assessment have been very helpful.” (Head of Department)

“It's helped me to prepare well for my future career and I now think more and more about what impact I leave on my students any time I enter a class room.” (Graduate Teaching Assistant)

“May I therefore take this opportunity in congratulating you on the success of the Centre and the contribution it is making to Economics teaching nationally. Clearly, Economics is quite a challenging subject to teach and to learn and you are making this much easier for all concerned as well as saving valuable academic time.” (Pro Vice Chancellor, quoted in Annual Report 2004)

“I think its real strength is that it does actually fulfil its remit of pushing forward teaching quality without actually forcing people too heavy-handedly.” (Lecturer)

“I think the contents and the size of the participating groups are perfect. The contents are very practical and very relevant. Some of the speakers showed us the video clips and games that we can work on in our own teachings which I found most useful because it is very practical.” (Early-career lecturer commenting on workshop)

“Existing website is an excellent portal of resources.” (Lecturer in our National Survey, 2007)

“Within a short time of surfing this site, I found myself thrilled with the wealth of information and resource available there and it's a must visit for every economics student.” (Student comment about Studying Economics site)

“What is particularly good is the site Why study economics? I thought that was really colourful and it’s a great design for students so we’ve put a link to that from our blackboard site. We recommend the use of the site to students.” (Lecturer New University, quoted in the External Evaluator’s report 2005)

“I just got the memory stick! The material inside is "gold"! Thank you so much, it is really very useful and much appreciated!” (Phd student, May 2008)

“The overwhelming majority of views and findings reported here demonstrate the very positive contribution that the Economics Network is making to the teaching of Economics in the UK. There are areas suggested for improvement but the Network is to be congratulated on its continuing efforts to keep developing and extending its reach and impact within the Economics community.” (External Evaluator’s report 2008)

“I found the formal and informal support by my colleagues at the Econ Network invaluable and of great moral support.” (Lecturer, quoted in External Evaluator's report 2007)

“This questionnaire was very helpful: some questions I never ask my self but need to ask my self again and again.” (Student comment on student survey)

“The resources have helped to make me think about alternative ways of delivering the material. They have also given me confidence to try new things out to see how they work. Knowing that other departments have tried new techniques with success gives me confidence to try new things in my own units.” (Lecturer, 2009 survey)

“I’ve always had great support from all the team down there.” (Lecturer, quoted in External Evaluator's report 2007)

“I am using your website with great benefits, and would like to say thank you! (especially for audio/video section of educational material).” (Student comment in student survey)

“One cannot fault the wealth of information, resources, quality of workshops and training facilities, and the unwavering support provided by our colleagues who organize and maintain the various subject networks. This support is most valuable and a constant source of inspiration. I wish to expressly thank the staff at the Economics Network for their support and their devotion.” (Oliver Marnet, "Beginning a Career in Higher Education")

“Those two days were arguably the most rewarding workshop days I have attended on teaching and on economics - and I have been to quite a few of these things, as I am sure we all have.” (Benjamin H. Mitra-Khan, "The New Lecturers Workshop: a win-win situation for economists")

“I am keen to contribute to Economics Network activities and projects as they are extremely valuable in promoting good practice in economics education.” (Juliette Stephenson, "METAL resources review")

We welcome all feedback, whether positive or negative, at econ-network@bris.ac.uk .

Supporting Learning and Teaching for 10 years

Feedback from the Network's conferences

“Great - again! Also inspirational - nice to know others grappling with similar issues.” (Delegate, DEE 2009 Conference)

“Try to encourage more Heads of department to support this conference and its aims.” (Delegate, DEE 2007 Conference)

“Very successful and enjoyable in almost every respect: congratulations and thanks to all involved in its delivery.” (Delegate, DEBE 2005 Conference)

“Definitely worth travelling half way around the world for!” (Delegate, DEBE 2003 Conference)