Online course makes economics accessible to everyone

 Vince Cable
24 Jan 2017 13:19:13.340

The University of Nottingham has teamed up with Sir Vince Cable to provide a free online course on ‘The Politics of Economics and The Economics of Politicians’.

The course is being run by experts in the School of Economics at the University, and is fronted by Vince Cable - an Honorary Professor of Economics at the University and former Coalition Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

It is designed to explore the link between politics and economics by looking at the work of some major political figures and the key economic ideas they adopted.

The course is the latest MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to be offered by FutureLearn, the leading global social learning platform, owned by The Open University.

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Linking politics and economics

Learners are not expected to have any prior experience or qualifications, just a keen interest in discovering the link between politics and economics. The course will also be taken by undergraduate students at the University. Learners will be able to:

●      Apply the theory of economics to politics

●      Investigate the impact of the 2008 financial crisis

●      Demonstrate understanding of the scope and methods of economics

●      Assess the effect of monetarism and rolling back the state

Vince Cable, lead educator and pioneer of the course said: “I have spent around half my adult life as an economist in universities, government and business and the rest in politics. As such, I have been fascinated by the links between the two: how politicians use economic ideas and how economists influence policy. 

“Most of the big economic ideas we see being applied in the real world are there because politicians adopted, promoted and implemented them; otherwise they would remain in books.”

‘Inspiring people to learn about economics’

Vince continued: “This project looks at some of the key political figures who came to represent major economic movements: Thatcher and Thatcherism; Deng and Chinese reform; Ehrhard and the German ‘wirtschaftswunder’; and comparable figures in earlier generations. By delving into these movements, I hope to inspire people to learn more about economics and politics, appreciate the relationship between the two fields, and use this knowledge to help understand the economic and political situation of today, and tomorrow.”

Professor Cecilia Testa, a course lead from the School of Economics at tthe University, said: “We are delighted to be leading this course with Sir Vince. Through the course, we hope to offer a broad range of people the opportunity to take a closer look at the links between politics and economics.

“The course is unique as we will be doing this through the eyes of leading economists at the University as well as through the eyes of a politician. We will be looking at both contemporary politics as well as the political leaders who have impacted on economic theories throughout history.”

Enrolment open now

FutureLearn Head of Content Nigel Smith said: “It is a pleasure to be working with both The University of Nottingham and Vince Cable to deliver a course of this nature.  The course provides a unique blend of theoretical insight and practical experience, with the opportunity for learners to ask questions and comment throughout the course and grow their understanding of this key area of government.”

The course will be available for enrollment as of 24 January, while the course itself will be available from 20 March 2017. Certificates of Achievement and Statements of Participation will be available at the cost of £59 and £34 respectively.

For more information, or to enrol, visit the FutureLearn website.

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More information on the course can be found here -

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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