The Forum in Norwich played host to third year students from the School of Economics yesterday who presented their research posters to the public.
The students were tasked to identify a current area of public policy debate and use economic analysis to investigate the topic and present their findings.
The topics covered a wide range of issues prevalent in recent UK policy discussions and/or issues affecting society in the current economic climate.
UEA lecturer in Economics Matt Aldrich attended the event and said: “The poster event is a flagship public engagement exercise for the School.
“It allows students to develop a key employability skill: presenting sometimes complex economic concepts to non-experts. This is something that most economists will have to do in a graduate job.
“It also promotes the School of Economics to the local public and showcases the work that economists do and the types of issues we are concerned with.”
One poster at the event which attracted a large amount of attention was ‘An Evaluation of HS2’ by Jonny, Jack, Jacob and Zhanqi. The team had supplemented their eye catching poster with a live twitter feed (@HS2Norwich) and a QR code which could be scanned for more info.
Their research discussed the proposed new high speed rail link between, London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester and analysed how it would affect the UK economy. One other team who chose to focus on the subject were Nazmul, Harry, Arthur and Robert who presented their brilliantly titled poster ‘End of the line for HS2?’
Another group who picked a topical political issue were Zainab, Harriet, Amy and Nora who presented their research on whether the proposed reduction in tuition fees by the Labour party would benefit the economy.
Somewhat surprisingly for a team of students, the girls concluded that a reduction in tuition fees was a bad idea! They argued that the benefits would not outweigh the costs as university attendance would be unlikely to increase.
The NHS was another area which provided our students with ammunition. Alice, Beckie, Jamie and Sophie discussed in their research whether or not the current system is efficient and equitable. They weighed up the positives and negatives of the current NHS system while assessing the advantages of private involvement.
They concluded that the NHS is an equitable system as individuals can access services free of charge regardless of their income. However they also argued that some private involvement may be advantageous to increase consumer choice.
Also assessing the NHS were Hau Fai, Shut Sang, Kin Ho and Tommy who presented their poster asking why the government provides a health care service.
Their extensive research was evident in their poster which included graphs explaining the impact of raising life expectancy on economic growth.
Focusing on UK defence cuts and providing a strong contender for photo of the day were the team consisting of Akshay, James, George and Kiran.
Their work focused on spending cuts in defence following the financial crash of 2009. They argued that cutting money in this sector was viable as it is not such a politically volatile area and can release money to be used elsewhere. They also concluded however that it has also had a negative impact as job creation has been reduced.
Edgar, Simon, Adam and Merlin looked into who should pay for flood protection. They discussed whether public money should be used or whether individuals or companies should be responsible.
The snappily dressed team concluded that a combination of local and national government should be responsible for providing adequate flood defence.
The subject of reforms to student visa rules provided an issue close to the hearts of Huilin, Eric, Nazrin and Iris. All four of the students have required student visas themselves to allow them to study at the University of East Anglia. As such they spoke passionately about the benefits that students from abroad bring to the UK economy.
Another political hot potato was tackled by Nasia, Romit, Sofia and Yi Ling with their work on corporate tax avoidance.
They discussed the Double Irish corporation tax reform and explained measures which would make it harder for large companies to avoid paying tax.
The event was a great success with students engaging with many members of the public along with their peers. Congratulations to all invloved!
The full set of photos from the day can be found in our Facebook album.