Shrewsbury School

'Exceptional' student engagement at Economics Conference 2021

Friday 12 November 2021

On Tuesday, Shrewsbury School hosted the Economics Conference 2021 which covered the theme of Poverty and Equality.  

Hosted for our Upper and Lower Sixth Form Economics students, as well as 38 students from Oswestry School and 23 students from Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, the conference was hosted by our teacher I/c of Economics Nick Zafar and covered topics on the A level syllabus in preparation for the pupils’ exams.  


Theo P (Rb, UVI), who led proceedings on the day, said: "Following completion of a magazine publication and a ‘Brexit and the Pandemic’ Question Time earlier this year, we turned our attention to coordinating the Conference, our final project of 2021. We were delighted to have the opportunity to host a live event and welcome neighbouring schools to join us. The day began brilliantly with our keynote speaker, Karen Williams, delivering an informative and thought-provoking lecture entitled ‘Poverty is all our business’. This was followed by a closely contested debate involving students - Dom I-J (CH, UVI) and Freddie A-J from Oswestry School and Rico M (Ch, UVI) and Alys M also from Oswestry School -  parleying over the motion ‘The free market can eliminate poverty and inequality’. The audience favoured the opposing team of Rico and Alys, who argued that Government intervention is required to eliminate poverty and inequality.

"The first of the afternoon sessions was the Question Time, with a distinguished panel of guests: Julia Buckley, Nat Green, Simon Richards and Karen Williams. The audience participation was excellent with an abundance of hands in the air. We all learnt a great deal in the space of just over an hour. For our final session, we welcomed back Ollie Thorpe and Hiro Shu, two Old Salopians currently studying Economics at Bristol and LSE respectively. They provided detailed answers to a wide-ranging pool of questions regarding the application process, the course content, opportunities beyond university and more.

"The matter discussed throughout the day was very useful and relevant to all, as ‘Poverty and Inequality’ is a topic on the A-Level syllabus. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed compèring the proceedings and contributing to the planning of the day. I very much look forward to the Society’s future events."

Nick Zafar added: “I was very happy with the way the event went. The level of student engagement both from ours and the 60 visiting students from Shrewsbury 6th Form College and Oswestry School was exceptional and we look forward to welcoming them back to next year’s event.   

“The quote I remember best was the answer to a question from the floor of the Economics graduates. The question was how does being at university compare with being at Shrewsbury School. The response was ‘Being at university gives you much more opportunity to get things wrong’.” 

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