The Economics Network invites UK economics departments to participate in a collaborative research project to explore economics students' expectations, attitudes and behaviour following the introduction of higher fees.
National Student Surveys (NSS)
The results of the National Student Survey, plus other Teaching Quality Information (TQI) data are available on the Unistats site. 2009 NSS results for Economics are available here. An analysis of 2010 NSS results for Economics, by Dr Paul Latreille of Swansea University, compares Economics against other subjects.
The Economics Network is happy to provide support for departments which would like to improve their NSS score. Our Student Focus Group Scheme allows you to further investigate student attitudes and is available at no charge. We have facilitated eighteen focus groups during between 2009 and 2011. Reports for the emerging themes of the 2009/10 focus groups and 2010/11 focus groups have been written.
The Key contacts conference 2009 included a presentation by Prof. Alison Wride (Exeter University) on Improving your National Student Survey scores.
Key Information Sets
The Economics Network has compiled the KIS data for economics that's available on the Unistats website and made it available in a single downloadable file.
The Economics Network offers a focus group scheme to help departments address issues with their NSS scores. Results are confidential to the host department. Anonymised overview reports are available for the 2009/10 focus groups and the 2010/11 focus groups.
Economics Network Surveys
The Economics Network conducts regular surveys to research the current state of teaching and learning in Economics Higher Education in the UK. They inform our support role and give a voice to the HE Economics community.
We only publish national results, recognising that the data must not be used for league tables. For the student surveys, departments receive their own confidential report, which they can then compare to the national picture.
National Surveys of Economics Lecturers
145 lecturers from 57 UK universities took part in the 2011 survey. The main objective of this survey is to clarify current practices and issues of concern to Economics lecturers and their students, as well as provide the Economics Network and those who fund us with information about how economics lecturers use our services and what impact it has on their teaching. An executive summary and full report are available. A summary of staff and student perspectives on eLearning (PDF) from previous lecturer and student surveys has also been prepared. There is also a summary of common themes between the lecturer and student surveys (PDF).
Winners of the prize draw, randomly chosen among all respondents who agreed to take part, are: Dr Hristo Nikolov, Nottingham Business School; Dr Catherine (Kay) Pollock, Kingston University; Mirco Tonin, University of Southampton; Matt Olczak, Economics & Strategy Group Aston Business School; Boris Drappier, University of the West of England.
In previous surveys, lecturers reported a lack of support and positive incentives from their departments for teaching innovation. Despite this, they are making changes to their teaching methodology, although "chalk and talk" remains dominant.
Alumni Survey (Economics Graduates)
The Economics Network conducts surveys of alumni, to investigate the knowledge and skills acquired in an Economics degree and their relevance to their job and career.
Our latest survey of alumni ran until December 2008. The results can be read either in an executive summary or a full report. Bian Chen from University of York, Alexis Adams of the University of East Anglia and Allan Jackson of Newcastle University were randomly selected to win a cheque for £100.
The previous Alumni survey was conducted in 2004. National aggregate results can be downloaded in PDF format, and will help us better understand the links between curriculum, learning experiences and career outcomes.
National Surveys of Economics Students
The Economics Network's sixth biennial student survey has just closed and the results are being analysed. As with the previous surveys, this asks students about their pre-university learning experience as well as to evaluate their current courses and learning experience in economics. 1440 students from 56 UK universities took part. Winners of the prize draw, randomly chosen among all respondents who agreed to take part, are - Chun Wah Law from University of Surrey, Juan-Mei Banh from Reading University, Jonathan Platten from St-Andrews University, Xiaou Chen from University of Birmingham and Gemma Aspinall from Lancaster University.
Departments will receive a confidential report summarising the results from their students and the national overview report will be published on the Economics Network site.
In surveys so far, the quality and enthusiasm of the teaching staff emerged as a main determinant of the quality of the student experience. Economics itself came in for a great deal of praise as an interesting and challenging subject. The students have also shown a demand for active involvement in learning.
The 2012 survey aims to improve understanding of the skills economics graduates need in the workplace. It is partially funded by the Higher Education Academy. Read a summary of the results or download the full report "Economics Graduates' Skills and Employability".
The 2006/7 project, funded jointly by the Economics Network and the Royal Economic Society, was conducted by the ASQM consultancy unit at the University of the West of England and attempted to understand employers' requirements of economics graduates, to establish whether they think these graduates generally possess the required skills and knowledge and to reveal any clear shortfalls in order to inform the UK economics academic community. Read A summary of the results (PDF) or the full report "The Skills and Knowledge of the Graduate Economist" (PDF).
In 2010 we released "How Economics Students are Prepared for Employment" (pdf), a summary of findings from the alumni and employer surveys.
National Survey of Economics Departments 2001
Our first survey gave a national overview of teaching practice, involving 40 department contacts. The responses showed the rate of use of various teaching and assessment styles and technologies. A short summary of the results is available.