Friday 27 April 2018

Economics teaching 'is same despite crash'

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

ECONOMICS teaching in Ireland hasn't really changed in the past five years despite the global financial crisis, a new survey suggests.

And it seems there may be some reluctance to change. Attitudes towards newer or more critical material among the academic community were described as being mixed by the authors of the study.

It was carried out by University of Limerick Economics Lecturer Stephen Kinsella and Trinity College Dublin Professor of Finance Brian Lucey.

Some 336 finance, accounting and economics staff in Irish universities were surveyed late last year. Just over a third responded.

The purpose of the study was to assess whether a curriculum was being imposed on economics students that may be "increasingly remote" from what economists now know as a result of the global financial crisis.

Prof Lucey said there was a "conservative theme" running through the responses.

"For the most part, people teach the same, more or less, than they did five years ago," he said.

"Despite the massive wrench in the actual economy, the academy seems to be broadly unchanged in how and what it teaches. This must change," added Prof Lucey.

"If I was to make one suggestion, it would be that there should be no theory taught in any economic courses until at least the second year," he said.

"The first year should be compulsory surveys of the Irish and world economy, and economic and business history," Prof Lucey said, adding, "If people only got those two things, they'd be better off than (with) big dollops of theory."

Irish Independent

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