Fraser of Allander Institute heads up initiative to promote opportunities for applied economics students in Scotland

The Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde Business School is to spearhead a Scotland-wide initiative to create more opportunities for students interested in a career as an applied economist.

The new three-year Economic Futures programme is funded by the Scottish Funding Council and operates on behalf of all Scottish Universities. Any student studying for an economics or economy-related degree is eligible.

The funding will support work placements for undergraduate and postgraduate students to gain experience in an applied economics capacity in academic, public policy or business.

Training events with leading applied economists will be run throughout the year focussing upon the toolkit of an applied economist including policy evaluation, economic modelling and data analysis.

The first round of work placements – to fill opportunities at the University of Stirling, the Fraser of Allander Institute, the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the Scottish Funding Council – attracted over 70 outstanding applications for the eight posts on offer.

Professor Graeme Roy, Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute and one of the project leads on Economic Futures, said, “Across Scotland, there is a growing demand for skilled economists to work in an applied public policy and business environment. 

“Economics is the study of almost everything we care about in society. Take a look around the world today and you’ll see major challenges which have economics at their core, whether that be rising income inequalities, globalisation or climate change.

“This exciting new Scottish Funding Council initiative will help support the next generation of economists with the knowledge, transferable skills and experience to help shape Scotland’s future.”

Professor David Bell, from the University of Stirling, said, “We think that the Economic Futures project offers a great opportunity to introduce students to important economic challenges that Scotland faces.  Good policy depends on good evidence. The students will develop new skills and competencies which will help them engage with the interface between policy and evidence."

Claire Murdoch, Head of Devolved Taxes and Social Security, Scottish Fiscal Commission, said: “The Scottish Fiscal Commission relies upon being able to recruit well trained economists from our universities and is very pleased to be involved in this programme.  We will be able to work with the students on real life questions that are essential to our work such as how people respond to changes in income tax and what will happen to house prices in the future.”

Raakhi Odedra, Bank of England, said, “This is a great new pathway for students to work on projects that will inform public policy thinking. It is critical that we have talent with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds to bring diversity of perspective and to shape thinking in economic analysis.”

Economic Futures is a strategic investment by the Scottish Funding Council to support the development of applied economics capacity in Scotland.  It is run by the Fraser of Allander Institute and the Project Leads are Graeme Roy and Mairi Spowage.

Economic Futures Steering Group

Andrew Hebden, Bank of England
Raakhi Odedra, Bank of England
Catia Montagna, University of Aberdeen
David Bell, University of Stirling
Anna Babloyan, University of Edinburgh
Julia Darby, University of Strathclyde
Claire Murdoch, Scottish Fiscal Commission
Simon Fuller, Scottish Government
Roger Halliday, Scottish Government
Pat Watt, Skills Development Scotland

2019 Work Placements (Phase 1)

Scottish Fiscal Commission
Gary Mullins, University of St Andrews
Project: House Prices
Michaela Vahovska, University of Glasgow
Project: Income Tax

Fraser of Allander Institute
Sophie Eales White, University of Edinburgh
Project: Subjective Wellbeing
Julia Robbie, University of Strathclyde
Project: Impact of the Scottish Professional Football League clubs on the Scottish economy

Scottish Funding Council
Callum McGrath, University of Edinburgh
Project: Investment in Post-School Education
Christopher Arrowsmith, Heriot-Watt University
Project: Funding for Access and Retention

University of Stirling
Mairi McHale, University of St Andrews
Project: O*NET Project
Ewan Thomson, University of Dundee
Project: HAGIS Project

Published: 31 July 2019



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