Considering Economics? Consider Kingston

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If you know any UK sec­ondary school stu­dent who is con­sid­er­ing doing eco­nom­ics at Uni­ver­si­ty, please refer them to this blog post.

This Thurs­day, you’ll find out your A‑Level results. What­ev­er they are, if you are con­sid­er­ing doing an eco­nom­ics degree, then I want you to con­sid­er doing it at Kingston Uni­ver­si­ty.

At first glance, that’s some­thing you would­n’t do if you had a choice, because Kingston rates well down the list in the Guardian League Table. Why choose Kingston—which is at the bot­tom of the Guardian’s list—if, for exam­ple, your A‑level results would get you into Oxford, which is at the top?

A clue as to why can be found in The Guardian itself—not in the League Table, but in a recent col­umn by The Guardian’s senior eco­nom­ics com­men­ta­tor Aditya Chakrabort­ty, enti­tled “Uni­ver­si­ty eco­nom­ics teach­ing isn’t an edu­ca­tion: it’s a £9,000 lobot­o­my”.

Aditya’s com­plaint was about how Uni­ver­si­ty eco­nom­ics cours­es had respond­ed to the great­est eco­nom­ic event of our life­times: the eco­nom­ic cri­sis that began in 2007. At the time, econ­o­mists were crit­i­cized by every­one up to and includ­ing The Queen, who famous­ly asked ““If these things were so large, how come every­one missed them?

As a new stu­dent of eco­nom­ics, you might think that after the cri­sis, most Uni­ver­si­ties would have sub­stan­tial­ly revised their eco­nom­ics cours­es to make them more rel­e­vant to actu­al eco­nom­ic events. But in gen­er­al that has­n’t hap­pened: accord­ing to Aditya, at some Uni­ver­si­ties, less atten­tion is being paid to eco­nom­ic crises now than before the cri­sis hap­pened:

The most sig­nif­i­cant eco­nom­ics event of our life­time isn’t being taught in any depth at one of the largest eco­nom­ics fac­ul­ties in the coun­try.

This fail­ure of aca­d­e­m­ic eco­nom­ics to “fess up” has led to Uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents around the world lob­by­ing for the reform of eco­nom­ics. Organ­i­sa­tions like the “Post Crash Eco­nom­ics Soci­ety” and the “Inter­na­tion­al Stu­dent Ini­tia­tive For Plu­ral­ism in Eco­nom­ics” have been formed, call­ing for eco­nom­ics depart­ments to teach a range of approach­es to economics—not just so-called “main­stream economics”—and to seri­ous­ly con­sid­er the cri­sis rather than ignor­ing it.

At Kingston, we already do both. We pride our­selves on teach­ing a range of approach­es to eco­nom­ics, and we have spe­cif­ic modules—such as “Cap­i­tal­ism” and “Con­tem­po­rary Issues in Eco­nom­ics” in which the cri­sis and the­o­ries about what caused it will be dis­cussed in detail.

As the new Head of the School of Eco­nom­ics, Pol­i­tics and His­to­ry at Kingston Uni­ver­si­ty, and one of the few econ­o­mists who did warn of the cri­sis before it hap­pened, I can also guar­an­tee that Kingston will get stronger on both these fronts over the next few years.

That’s not to say that Kingston is per­fect: noth­ing is. But we start where it counts with a real­is­tic, open-mind­ed approach to eco­nom­ics that you won’t nec­es­sar­i­ly get from oth­er Uni­ver­si­ties. So on Thurs­day, when you know your results, con­tact us at Kingston and check about doing your eco­nom­ics degree with us. Call the Kingston Clear­ance Line num­ber 0844 842 9599 and speak to a mem­ber of our aca­d­e­m­ic staff about doing eco­nom­ics at Kingston.

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About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.