The Economics Network

Improving economics teaching and learning for over 20 years

2013-14 Collaborative Research Project

Economics students' changing expectations

Project information and resources 

New uploads (September 2014):

Research results (2013)

Presentation of aggregate data from DEE conference (September 2013).

The project posters from the DEE conference can be viewed or downloaded here: summary poster and results poster.

Focus group summary report (February 2014).

Project summary

The Economics Network is leading a collaborative research project during 2013/2014 which will explore how economics students’ expectations, attitudes and behaviour may have changed (as a result of the changes to funding in higher education and the rise in tuition fees) and consider how economics teaching and learning practice and curricula might be adjusted to meet emerging needs.

The project aims to provide new data on expectations, behaviour and attitudes which will be useful for departments to inform internal reviews of their own practices or for further research. It also aims to compile a national dataset and undertake analysis on the dataset to better understand the impact on economics departments of recent funding changes. UK economics departments are encouraged to become engaged with this major project with either part (Type A) or full (Type B) engagement.

  • Type A Engagement: The collection of data across UK economics departments in March 2013 and again in Spring 2014, including student survey data, and student attendance and study data. The Economics Network will enter the survey data into an electronic dataset on behalf of departments. Each department will receive its own compiled dataset to inform any internal review of its own practices and/or curricula to provide the basis for its own research. Departments will also receive a report on the aggregate data for comparative purposes.
  • Type B Engagement: This includes everything under Type A Engagement. It also includes working with the Economics Network in the analysis of the aggregate dataset. It may also involve further focus group study which the Economics Network will facilitate if necessary. Departments involved as Type B participants will attend project meetings in Bristol.

The Economics Network’s role

The Economics Network will lead the project and provide the following:

  • Support to departments throughout each stage of the project, including hosting project meetings and general project communication
  • Student survey questionnaire
  • Student focus group questions and guidance (for Type B participants)
  • Collation and synthesis of data
  • Analysis and reports at the aggregate level
  • Individual department datasets for internal analysis and reports on the aggregate data for comparison
  • Ethical approval for the project in accordance with the University of Bristol’s Ethics and Policy procedures
  • Supplementary data (e.g. from HESA) if required.

Participating departments’ role

Departments that participate as Type A participants will:

  • Administer student surveys in their department in March 2013 and March 2014
  • Collect and provide data to the Economics Network, such as student attendance and assessment.

Departments that participate as Type B will additionally:

  • Run, if necessary, student focus groups in October/November 2014 (with the help of the Economics Network)
  • ​Attend project meetings and provide input (including analysis) into the wider project using the aggregate data collected nationally.

Participation in the project

Any UK economics department can be involved in the project as Type A or Type B participants.

For those departments who support the Economics Network through a financial contribution (see participation is free.

For other departments we ask for a contribution of £250 (for Type A involvement) or £500 (for Type B involvement) towards the cost of the project.

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