This section aims to provide useful information for those teaching economics in higher education in Scotland, giving a brief overview of the Scottish educational system and its organisations, as well as Economics Network resources which support Scottish priorities in economics.
To help us recognise, influence and respond to Scottish priorities, Linda Juleff served as the Economics Network Scottish representative when she was based at Napier University.
Resources and projects
The Scottish educational system of Highers and 4 year degree system differs from the A level/3 year degree system in the rest of the UK (to compare qualifications across the UK and Ireland see the QAA website; also see official documents and syllabuses for economics specific information). The first year at degree level at Scottish universities is a non-specialist year involving several subjects. This system presents different problems to economics lecturers in Scotland including teaching economics to non-specialists in the first year; retention of economics students (and the uptake of non-economics students) from the first to the second year of economics degrees; and the retention of second year students once they have started specialist study.
The Economics Network has the following resources which support these issues:
- Teaching economics to non-specialists
- Student engagement/motivation (and thus retention)
- the results of a Economics Network project in Scotland which focused on the retention of second year students
The Network has created Scottish Enhancement Themes and Economics, a guide to resources that address Scottish Enhancement Themes, part of QAA Scotland’s approach to enhancing the student learning experience in Scotland. The Network has also been part of a sparqs project developing student subject networks in Scotland.
The Network has two websites for students: Why Study Economics? for prospective students and Studying Economics which provides support to current students including study skill support, module choices, careers advice etc.
Support for the Higher Education Academy's work in Scotland is provided by Alastair Robertson (Senior Adviser) and Graeme Roberts (part-time Senior Associate), who are co-located with Universities Scotland in Edinburgh.
Their overall aim is to enhance the students’ learning experience in Scotland and to:
- support the professional development of individual staff
- support institutions
- contribute to and influence national policy
- support communities of practice through the Academy's Subject Centres
Universities Scotland exists to "represent and promote Scotland's higher education sector and campaign on its behalf. Through this work, we seek to assist the sector to deliver its essential contribution to the economic, social and cultural needs of Scotland, and to enhance Scotland's international reputation."
QAA Scotland aims to support Scottish universities and colleges in maintaining high academic standards and quality.
The Scottish Funding Council (SFC)
The Scottish Funding Council distributes more than £1.7 billion to Scotland’s colleges and universities for teaching and learning, research and other activities in support of Scottish government priorities.
NUS Scotland, while maintaining strong links with the National Union of Students of the UK, is an autonomous body which forms its own policies twice a year, at NUS Scotland Conference and Council.
SHED (Scottish Higher Education Developers)
The SHED website provides a means of promoting collaboration amongst educational developers in all Scottish Higher Education institutions, by sharing resources, delivering support programmes for academic staff and supporting delivery of learning and teaching.