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Discover Economics at Warwick

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Discover Economics at Warwick

We are very sorry to announce that the Discover Economics event has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

Discover Economics aims to open the eyes of Year 10 students from local schools to the exciting subject of economics, to help them gain a better understanding of what economics is at a crucial stage of their education, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding their future studies.

At Warwick, we believe that access to a world-leading university should be open to people from all backgrounds. We hope to raise student's aspirations and increase their awareness of the benefits of Higher Education.

It is well known that economics, as a subject, suffers from a lack of female role models. This has been indicated as one of the reasons why female students in economics are under-represented. It is our objective to emphasise the role of women in economics with the objective to widen female participation within the subject.

The event is delivered by Department of Economics at the University of Warwick and includes a combination of exciting and insightful talks from economists and academics, an opportunity to participate in interactive games and networking, and a chance to experience the wide variety of career opportunities available to economics graduates.

Date: Thursday 26 March 2020
Location: University of Warwick


8.45 - 9.00


9:00 - 9:30

Welcome Session

9:30 - 10:45

Morning Interactive Session

Students will take part in an interactive ice-breaking economics game.

10:45 - 11:00

11:00 - 11:30

"What is economics and what do economists do?" - Dr Arun Advani

11:30 - 13:00

Meet an Economist

Students will have the opportunity to meet a panel of four economists and interact with them asking questions related to their profession.

13:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 15:30

Afternoon Interactive Session

After a briefing session, in groups, students will produce a poster presentation where they will suggest possible solutions to the problem of climate change.

Parallel Session: Teachers Interactive Session

Teachers will be asked to share their ideas/views on “how education can increase girls’ self-confidence and academic self-efficacy in the context of teaching economics”. This session is organised with the Centre for Education Studies, which will bring their education knowledge and active pedagogic ideas.

15:30 - 16:00

Poster Presentations

Students will present their posters to fellow students at the event, as well as a committee of economists. This will be followed by an announcement of winners and distribution of prizes.

16:00 - 16:30

End of Event/Post Event Survey

Eligible Students

We will consider applications from all schools in the local area, however we believe that this workshop will be of most benefit to students who meet our Widening Participation criteria as set out below.

Students should be in Year 10 and preference will be given to students who meet one of more of the following criteria:

  • Be predicted in the region of 5 A* - Bs
  • Be the first generation in their family to attend University
  • Been in receipt of Free School Meals whilst at secondary school
  • Have parent(s)/guardian(s) who qualify for means-tested benefits
  • Have been looked after or in care

Places shall be allocated to those who meet the most criteria.

This call is open to all Economic students to bring their ideas/proposals/projects and help us to contribute to make Economics more attractive to all. You need to be a current Economics student (or related e.g. joint degrees with Economics) from an UK university in order to be eligible to participate. If you want more guidance or want to discuss your idea before applying, please contact us: economics dot womenconf at warwick dot ac dot uk

Download the application form here

Application deadline: 20th November 2019

If you are selected, we will cover an advanced standard-class return rail fare to Coventry and accommodation during the Workshop. All participants will stay at Warwick Conference Centre (lunches and dinner are also provided - please see the programme).

PRIZE: From each session, we will choose the best presentation and the winner will get a prize of £300.

Your proposal needs to focus on one of the following topics: (there is also one ‘open session’, please see more details on the application form)

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the Econ101 syllabus - and the Economics curriculum more generally - have been under scrutiny. It has been discussed that traditional Economics syllabus do not allow students to engage with real world challenges. Since then, there have been many initiatives and some universities have taken a positive action and changed the way they teach Economics and engage students with the subject. The changes also apply to assessment and feedback methods.

For this session, we are looking for proposals/ideas on:

  • how changes to the curriculum have made/could make the discipline more attractive to women;
  • what teaching/curriculum innovations have been/can be introduced that make the discipline more inclusive;
  • how assessment and feedback can be more inclusive;
  • any other ideas on the Economics curriculum that can make feel the discipline more inclusive.

Students’ experience at university is not only influenced by their academic engagement. Student-led organisations play a key role. Students unions play an important role in creating a more inclusive environment;

For this session, we are looking for proposals/ideas on:

  • we are particularly keen to hear from Economic societies, Finance societies and related, but also other types of student committees such as SSLCs (Economics Staff and Student Liaison Committee), Students unions and other forms of students’ representations;
  • any students’ initiatives aimed to improve Economics female-students’ university experience.

There is evidence that having role models is very important as they influence our actions and motivate us to strive to uncover potential and overcome weakness. While we cannot assume that female students will always desire female mentors, open discussion of the benefits of having more female (and broader representation in general) to share backgrounds and experiences can be beneficial to all students. Female economists’ experiences can help students to broaden their perception about the discipline and increase students’ engagement.

For this session, we are looking for proposals/ideas on:

  • the role of female economists (but not only) in inspiring female students;
  • role models that have contributed to a greater engagement of female economics students;
  • any other ideas on how role models can benefit students’ engagement.

While there is the perception that economics students tend to go to work in Banking and Finance, a degree in Economics opens many doors. Female economists tend to be more interested in different areas (e.g. economic policy) and their expectations of what to get from an Economics degree may vary. Also, their expectations on what to do after university may affect how they engage with their academic life;

For this session, we are looking for proposals/ideas on:

  • how do female students’ expectations differ from male students and how these can affect (positively and negatively) their academic engagement;
  • if female students are interested in pursuing further studies (MSc, PhD), what aspects of the BSc discourage them from doing this and what can be done to overcome these issues;
  • any other ideas on how female students’ expectations may interact with their performance and engagement with university life.

Dr Luisa Affuso (Ofcom Chief Economist)

Luisa Affuso is Chief Economist at Ofcom, the UK communications regulator. She joined Ofcom in October 2018 from PwC where she headed the Competition Economics practice. Luisa has over twenty years’ experience in the application of competition, regulatory, and industrial economics. She has consulted for a range of organisations including economic consultancies, the World Bank and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). She has given expert evidence on a number of high-profile cases before several antitrust authorities and courts. She has an MSc and PhD in Economics from the University of Warwick.

Professor Wendy Carlin

Wendy Carlin is Professor of Economics at the University College London (UCL) and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). She is leading an international project - the CORE project - to reform the undergraduate economics curriculum. The CORE project has produced an open-access e-book for a first course in economics used in various universities worldwide.

Wendy is a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility and has acted as a consultant for international organisations such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), London, and the World Bank.

Urvashi Parashar

Urvashi is Deputy Director, Sector Analysis in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy where she leads a multi-disciplinary team of analysts supporting business sectors policy that involves appraisal and evaluation of interventions, understanding the impact of EU exit and future trade deals on sectors, and the role of industrial strategy.

Urvashi is a passionate believer in improving diversity in the civil service and in Economics. She is joint lead of the engagement strand of an initiative in the Government Economic Service called “Women in Economics” which aims to reach out to female students to encourage them to study, work and progress in Economics. The initiative has recently started to work with Royal Economic Society’s Discover Economics campaign so that the two organisations can achieve their common goals.

Dr Tom Schuller

Tom is the author of ‘The Paula Principle: how and why women work below their level of competence”. Women outperform men in education at every level and in almost every subject and there will soon be two women for every man in higher education in the UK. In a properly meritocratic system, we would expect women to be rewarded for these achievements but progress towards pay equality has been slow and stuttering. It is this striking contrast – between a fast-growing female/male competence gap on the one hand and a slow-shrinking male/female careers gap on the other – that has prompted The Paula Principle. Tom is currently a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck (London) and the Institute of Education.”

Professor Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is Professor of Economics and Head of the Department at the University of Bristol. She is the Women’s Committee Chair for the Royal Economics Society which role is to promote women in the Economics profession. Sarah’s research is on pensions, saving and retirement and welfare policy and more recently she has been working with a number of charity organisations to understand what motivates individuals to give and how donations respond to different (economic and non-economic) incentives. She has previously worked at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, HM Treasury, Financial Services Authority and the London School of Economics.

Dr Gemma Tetlow

Gemma is Chief Economist at the Institute for Government, she works across the institute’s programmes of work, which aims to improve the effectiveness of government. Prior joining the institute, Gemma was Economics Correspondent at the Financial Times, reporting on and analysing economic developments in the UK and globally. Gemma also spent 11 years at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, leading the organisation’s work on public finances and pensions. Gemma has a PhD in economics from University College London and an MSc and BSc in Economics from the University of Warwick.

Additional speakers will be confirmed later.


The preliminary programme for the workshop is:

Day 1 Saturday 18 January


10.30 - 11.00

Coffee and registration

11.00- 11.15

Welcome and Introduction

11.15 - 12.15

Session A: Economics curriculum, and assessment & feedback

12.15 - 13.15

Session B: Universities’ students-led organisation

13.15 - 14.10


14.10 - 15.00

Plenary: (speaker to be confirmed)

15.00 - 16.00

Session C: Role models in Economics

16.00 - 16.15


16.15 - 17.15

Session D: Female students’ expectations

17.15 - 18.15

Session E: Other ideas


Drinks reception


Social Dinner

Day 2 (Sunday 19 January)


10.00 - 11.00


11.00 - 12.30

Panel discussion: Luisa Affuso (Ofcom), Wendy Carlin (UCL, The Core), Tom Schuller (Author of the Paula Principle), Sarah Smith (Bristol, RES), Gemma Tetlow (Institute for Government)

12.30 - 13.30

Buffet Lunch

13.30 - 14.30

Concluding Remarks and prizes


Event ends

Travel to the Warwick campus (Coventry): University of Warwick is at the heart of the Midlands and can be accessed through various types of transport. For more information please follow the link here.

Accommodation: All selected students will stay at the Warwick conference centre in campus. All accommodation is en-suite single bedroom, located few minutes walk from the workshop venue. Free parking and Wi-Fi. More information for students will be provided before the conference.


Registration for this event is essential. Please register your interest via the form below by midnight on Monday 2 March 2020.

If you have any enquiries or further questions about the programme, please don't hesitate to get it touch via

This form is closed and is no longer accepting any submissions. Thank you for your time.