Two-hundred and fifty students at UCL will start learning economics in a new way on Wednesday 1 October. Antonio Cabrales, their professor says: ‘Economics teaching has failed to convey the exciting progress made in many fields in economics over recent decades in addressing the big questions about the economy. We are hoping to change that.’
The course at UCL is part of a worldwide beta test of The Economy, a new online introduction to the field, which will – the course materials say – teach economics 'as if the last 30 years had happened'. The course is based on an ebook, the beta version of which is now available to anyone for free online at www.core-econ.org.The Economy combines text with pop-up questions to track learning and spark discussion as well as videos of Economists in Action. Students can click on an Einstein pop-up for help with difficult concepts. Models and data come to life with interactive diagrams. Though the project has not been advertised and is barely launched it already has almost 4,000 registered users.
The Economy is produced by the CORE Project (Curriculum Open access Resources in Economics), which is a group of more than 20 leading economists from around the world, coordinated by Professor Wendy Carlin of University College London. The Project, launched in November 2013 at HM Treasury is funded by the Institute for New Economics Thinking in New York and based at INET Oxford, part of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford.
‘Economists in universities and central banks were found wanting when the financial crisis hit,’ Carlin said. ‘Students from Manchester to Santiago Chile demanded courses that helped them understand and engage with the big questions they faced – not only financial crisis, but rising inequality and environmental degradation.’
The course is also being piloted at:
• University of Massachusetts, Boston, US (already initiated); undergraduate economics within a liberal arts degree
• Columbia University, US (already initiated); Master of Public Policy
• School of Public Policy, Central European University, Hungary (Autumn 2014); Master of Public Policy
• Sciences-Po, France (January 2015); undergraduate economics degree
• University of Sydney, Australia (March, 2015); undergraduate economics within an arts degree
• Azim Premji University, India (March, 2015); undergraduate economics within a liberal arts degree
• University of Siena, Italy (starts March 2015); undergraduate economics degree
The ebook launches officially in late 2016 after two rounds of beta testing.
Notes to Editors
Project director Wendy Carlin will be available for interviews on Wednesday 1 October. To arrange an interview call Carole Scott at the Oxford Martin School on 01865 287438 or email email@example.com
To access the course materials yourself and to find out more about The CORE Project, visit www.core-econ.org and watch the short video on how to register.
Printable PDFs of the ebook are available on request.