Could you help us review UCL economics modules?

Have you taken a module in UCL’s Economics department this year? We are keen to learn from your experience! Over the summer we are hoping to collate some short reviews of different ECON**** courses, offering critical feedback to the department and highlighting where improvements could be made. These will be collated as a body of evidence from which we can begin to levy concrete demands for change at UCL’s Economics department.

We will support you to write the review, which won’t need to be more than 500 words and will be personal and informal in style. Pop an e-mail to bettereconomicsuclu@gmail.com if you are at all interested, even just to provide a short comment rather than a full review.

If you would like to contribute but are not a UCL student, please still get in touch. We will also be looking for external reviewers to contribute to this project.

Could you write, draw or design some fun pamphlet content?

We’re hoping to prepare a pamphlet on ‘better economics’ to distribute at the start of the academic year 2014-15. We’re hoping for it to contain short, fun, light-hearted, punchy articles (200 - 400 words) challenging the economic status quo. We’re also hoping to get creative, with satirical cartoons and artwork.

If you have any ideas you wish to contribute, or would like to contribute but aren’t sure how, drop an e-mail to bettereconomicsuclu@gmail.com

Call out for new student organisers

Looking to get more involved in offline action to improve economics at UCL? We’re looking to expand our organising team to get the academic year 2014 - 15 off with a bang, including with events in the first two weeks of term and some interesting plans that we’d like to keep secret for now…
If you are interested in coming along to a meeting or being part of the online organising discussion, pop an e-mail introducing yourself to bettereconomicsuclu@gmail.com.

This weekend we hosted 300 students, academics and practitioners at UCL for the 2014 Rethinking Economics London conference. The packed out programme was a pluralist whirlwind tour of the true breadth of economics: a breadth that we would love to see in the UCL economics curriculum.

During the conference we asked attendees to share (on postcards) how they thought economics education needed to change, perhaps reflecting on talks and discussions at the conference. Photo of all of these postcards will be shared online soon.

At the end of the conference two representatives of Better Economics UCLU delivered the postcards to Morten Ravn, head of UCL’s Economics department. Hopefully he will take on board some of these valuable suggestions!

New videos!

Three videos are now online from our seminar, ‘Confronting the curriculum’, which took place on March 18th 2014. We had the honour of three speakers: Wendy Carlin, professor of economics at UCL and leader of INET’s CORE curriculum reform project; Molly Scott Cato, who teaches a pluralist syllabus as a professor of green economics at the University of Roehampton; and Maeve Cohen, one of the lead campaigners at the University of Manchester’s Post Crash Economics Society.

You can find each of their presentations here: Wendy Carlin, Molly Scott Cato and Maeve Cohen.

New video!

Tony Lawson, reader in economics at the University of Cambridge, argues that the 90%+ of economics taught in the Western world that is based on mathematical modelling is useless. He argues that it not only fails to provide insight into social reality, it obstructs other attempts to provide insight.

This presentation was given as part of a seminar entitled ‘Confronting mathematical modelling in economics’, which took place on 26th March 2014. This seminar was part of the Bloomsbury Confrontations seminar series organised by Better Economics UCLU. More info is available here: bettereconomicsuclu.tumblr.com.

Many thanks for Kaiying Yang for producing this video.

Wendy Carlin (UCL, INET), Maeve Cohen (University of Manchester Post-Crash Economics Society) and Molly Scott Cato (University of Roehampton) deliver their provocations at yesterday’s Bloomsbury Confrontation on the economics curriculum. More information on the session is available here. Videos will be uploaded soon.