Royal Economic Society announces Young Economist of the Year

Finalists and judges

Students from Altrincham Grammar School for Girls have been named as the Royal Economic Society’s Young Economist of the Year.

Sami Shahadat and Yiya Zhang were selected as winners by an esteemed panel of judges at an in-person final hosted KPMG UK at their London offices on Thursday 12 October.

The Young Economist of the Year Competition is an annual competition aimed at Year 10 to 13 students, encouraging them to produce their own ideas while analysing contemporary economic problems facing the UK and the world.

This year’s competition was organised by Discover Economics and sponsored by KPMG UK; it attracted over 1,400 entries. Volunteers from the professional services firm’s economics practice were tasked with shortlisting entries amid stiff competition.

The winning students from Altrincham Grammar School for Girls focused their entry on the topic of ‘What can economics tell us about how Big Tech should be regulated (if at all)?’ Their submission is now due to be featured in the Financial Times.

Commenting on their win, Yiya Zhang, a student at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, said: “Participating in the Young Economist of the Year competition has genuinely been life-changing. It was such a transformative experience, allowing me to delve deeper into the fascinating world of economics and fuel my passion to continue exploring economics in the future. This is truly something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

Heather Sharp, Partner within KPMG UK’s Economics team, said: Economists work on issues that affect our everyday lives, and through ourfirm’s sponsorship of Discover Economics, we are committed to making the discipline more inclusive and diverse while engaging with more students,

“The calibre of entries put forward this year was outstanding, with impressive consideration given to some of the world’s most complex economics issues. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. These are the economists of tomorrow, with very bright futures ahead of them.”

Discover Economics is a campaign run by the Royal Economics Society and sponsored by KPMG. It aims to broaden the appeal of economics to potential students, change their perceptions of economics and economists, and attract more students from under-represented groups.

The campaign targets 15-17 year olds, who are making choices about what post qualifications to take and what subjects to study at university or through an apprenticeship. By transforming the perceptions of economics among students, particularly those attending schools which don’t provide it as a subject, the campaign aims to raise the voices of a more diverse set of economists.

Notes to Editors: 

Discover Economics is a campaign, to promote greater diversity among undergraduate economics students. Our aims are to

  1. broaden the appeal of economics to potential students;
  2. change their perceptions of economics and economists;
  3. attract more students from under-represented groups (women, state school/further education college students and ethnic minorities).

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