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Guest Lecture on Economics Curriculum Reform

When: Tuesday, 22 August 2017 - Tuesday, 22 August 2017
Where: Braamfontein Campus West
SEBS Seminar Suite, 1st floor, New Commerce Building
Start time:15:00

The School of Economic and Business Sciences will host this guest lecture by Professors Wendy Carlin and Sam Bowles. 

Wendy Carlin is a Professor of Economics at University College London (UCL) and Sam Bowles is a Professor of Economics at the Sante Fe Institute. Bowles was part of the team approached by Martin Luther King Jr. to write background papers for the 1968 Poor People's March in the USA.  Later, in the mid 1990’s Nelson Mandela invited Professor Bowles to be part of South Africa’s post-apartheid Labour Market Commission, which aimed at eradicating the legacy of apartheid in SA's labour markets.

Carlin and Bowles are spearheading an international project named CORE, which aims to improve the way that economics is taught, particularly at undergraduate level. Carlin has pithily described CORE as seeking to teach economics “as if the last three decades had happened”.

Ahmed Bawa, CEO, of Universities South Africa, the body that represents South Africa’s 26 public universities will deliver the opening remarks.

Dr Kenneth Creamer, a lecturer at the Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences, who was instrumental in arranging the visit by Carlin and Bowles, believes that “efforts at economics curriculum reform should be locally driven by staff and students, but such efforts will benefit greatly if they are also informed by global best practice.” 

“As we enrich our South African economics teaching with local data sets, South African-specific case studies and our context’s pressing policy questions, we should also ensure that South African students and academics take part in global discussions on the role and future of economics as a discipline. An improved economics curriculum will ensure that we train technically-competent economists who are also empowered to undertake better research and drive economic policy transformation to address growth and inequality issues in South Africa,” argues Creamer.

This lecture is co-hosted by the Wits School of Economic and Business Sciences (SEBS) and the SEBS Student Council.

More information on the global Economics Curriculum Reform initiative which is being led by  Carlin and Bowles is available via


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