Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

The UK Economy Explained: A Practical Guide to the Performance of the UK Economy and Current Policy Issues for 'A' Level Economics and Business Studies Students: The Business Economics Unit HSBC Bank

Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

The UK Economy Explained: A Practical Guide to the Performance of the UK Economy and Current Policy Issues for 'A' Level Economics and Business Studies Students: The Business Economics Unit HSBC Bank

Article excerpt

The UK Economy Explained A practical guide to the performance of the UK economy and current policy issues for 'A' Level Economics and Business Studies students The Business Economics Unit HSBC Bank

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In his introductory letter to this resource, Bill Dalton, Chief Executive of HSBC Bank plc expresses the view that 'education is the ultimate determinant of economic success'. As such, education should provide students with the basic skills they must have to compete for jobs in the global market place and Mr Dalton feels that the teaching of both business and personal finance skills 'will become ever more important'. EBEA members must whole-heartedly agree with such sentiments, even while we frequently feel that they are under represented in the prevailing educational agenda.

The resource is in the form of a CD-ROM of statistical data and text, covering a wide range of business and, especially, economic information. It can be run on a PC or network. It is designed to solve the perennial problem of economics textbooks, namely that they are out of date almost before the ink is dry. Hence, textbooks do what they are best at: they provide the theoretical basis for study, and materials such as this provide background information in a convenient format.

A full explanation of how to use the package is given in the start unit, though for most students this is hardly necessary; the navigation is in any case very straightforward. There are also suggestions for use, such as accessing historic data for assignments and projects and accessing useful internet sites. Users have the ability to manipulate data and print any part of it.

The resource is certainly not unique in this respect, but its strength is in its simplicity of use, the textual support and the organisation of the material. Clicking on graphs provides access to the underlying data - simplicity itself. There are fifteen named files, ranging from an overview, through macro and micro economics, the company sector to labour and global markets - not exhaustive but an excellent concise set of information. Given the stated objectives, having a file entitled 'current situation" might be giving a hostage to fortune, but does provide a good starting point for applied study, particularly for students coming to economics for the first time, with little real knowledge of exactly what it is they have chosen to study. …

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