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Question Time 2014 covers the current issues in an engaging evening of debate

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Question Time 2014 covers the current issues in an engaging evening of debate

On Monday 29th September 2014, the Department of Economics hosted its annual Question Time event.

Very similar in format to the popular BBC television show, the event was held on the first day of term and was an excellent opportunity for students to engage with politicians, policy makers and academics on major issues and questions that concern the world.

Held in Butterworth Hall at the Warwick Arts Centre, an audience of over 1,000 took their seats to watch an exciting panel discuss a range of issues. This year's panel featured:

  • Lord Norman Lamont, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1990-1993

  • Jacqui Smith, the first female Home Secretary from 2007 -2009

  • David Goodhart, a prominent figure in public debate in the UK

  • Abhinay Muthoo, Professor of Economics

  • Nigel Thrift, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick.

Questions from the audience covered a number of current topics and issues.

Audience members had the opportunity to question the panel and a number of current topics and issues were covered that included; the Scottish independence result, UKIP and immigration, economics teaching methods, predicting the 2008 financial crisis, universities retaining international students, terrorism, and the use of social media by politicians.

The Question Time event forms part of the induction week activity for new students. Siobhan Benita commented that “It’s fantastic for students to hear from people who have been politicians and commentators and will help them to see how what they’re going to learn over the next three years can really be applied when they go out into the workplace.”

Following a return to panel after last years event, Jacqui Smith said that she "enjoyed it so much last year that I wanted to come back again this year. I thought the interaction with the students was excellent and the range of questions was topical yet challenging."

She continued; "Giving students the opportunity to explore ideas and to question people who are decision makers or former decision makers is a good way of helping to engender enthusiasm hopefully for continuing studies.”

"It was fantastic, the students were really engaged." Professor Abhinay Muthoo

Head of the Department of Economics, Professor Abhinay Muthoo, felt that this years event improved on last years; “I really enjoyed this year's Question Time, it was fantastic. There was more energy on the platform and the students were really engaged.

Events like these are really important for our students because we need to show them how to apply their knowledge, we want to inspire them, and events like these really focus their minds and help them think hard for themselves.”

Students will have the chance to continue the debate at an upcoming event, Students’ Question Time 2014 which gives them the chance to be on a panel and to debate on some of the topics raised during this event.