With the support from Royal Economic Society’s Discover Economics scheme, the University of Southampton invited local school students – especially from state-funded schools and low-income areas – to the campus to get a taste of what economics is and what economists do, learning about the breadth of economics as a discipline and the variety of the careers to which it can lead.
The students used the University’s Bloomberg Terminals, getting hands-on experience with an important part of the financial sector, but the event’s organisers sought to stress the interdisciplinary nature of economics and how it often touches on social or political issues. In this vein, the students took part in some behavioural economics experiments and heard a talk from a Bank of England speaker on the subject of women in economics (all attendees were female, as the University focused on attracting female students to address the gender imbalance in economics).
The Royal Economic Society provided financial assistance to the university to help towards costs. The university said:
‘We would not have thought of running this kind of event without the RES funding. The RES website provided information about similar events. The funding allowed us to pay for transport for schools in the Portsmouth area. Otherwise, we would have relied on local schools. Portsmouth and Fareham have pockets of real poverty and we would not have reached these schools without RES funding.’