Students focus on G8 world trade issues at UWE conference

Issue date: 01 July 2005


Issue date: 01/07/05

School children will discover the economics behind how rich countries sometimes exploit poor countries when they play a world trading game at a special Economics conference at the University of the West of England on Monday 4 July. Almost 300 Year 12 students from 27 regional schools will attend the conference that follows hot on the heals of the G8 summit.

The day long conference will include lectures by economics experts from the University but the highlight of the day is when the students take part in a World Trading Game which illustrates clearly how economics plays a significant hand in determining the relative wealth and poverty in different parts of the world.

The World Trading Game puts the students into teams of six. Each team will be given different resources to manufacture shapes to trade in order to make a profit. The resources are ruler, scissors, pencils, paper, protractor, compass and set squares and 'money'.

John Sloman from UWE’s School of Economics is one of the event organisers, he said, “Not every team gets all resources and they have to produce specific shapes from the paper to sell to get payment or barter with other teams to gain resources needed to trade. This represents economics resources in the world and how rich and poor countries trade and the resulting outcome of often the poorer countries being unable to reach the same level of profit as the richer countries.”

The game touches on key economic principles as practiced in Western countries and demonstrates how producers in poor but often material rich countries suffer in a climate of unfair trading.

The conference, which has run annually for many years, has attracted phenomenal response from schools and currently has a waiting list. Richard O’Doherty, Head of the School of Economics continues, “I think that the schools can see that the fair trade element that is rooted in the World Trading Game will appeal to the students and this enables us to highlight how important economics is to the world.”

While the students are playing the trading game the teachers will take part in an Economics updating session lead by UWE academics including Peter Howells, Martin Sullivan and Sam Perlo-Freeman. The students will also attend lectures on ‘Where is the world economy heading’; ‘Using the Web in studying A level Economics’ ‘Economics skills and tactics’; and ‘Studying A2 Economics’.

The conference takes place from 09.15 to 15.30 on Monday 4 July 2005 at UWE’s Frenchay Campus and is free to all participants.

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes

The schools taking part include:-
Blue School, Wells; Bristol Cathedral School; Bryntirion School, Bridgend; Callington Comprehensive, Callington, Cornwall; Cheltenham Ladies College, Gordano School, Portishead; Marlwood School, Alverston; Queen's College, Taunton,; Richard Huish College, Taunton; Sidcot School Winscombe; St Josephs High School, Newport; St Peter's, Gloucester; The King Alfred School, Highbridge; Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester; Katherine Lady Berkeley's School, Wotton-Under-Edge; The Ridgeway School, Plympton; Lytchett Minster School, Poole; Chepstow Comprehensive School, Monmouth; Rednock School, Dursley; Castle School, Thornbury; Trinity School, Teignmouth; Stowe School, Buckingham; St Brendan’s 6th Form College, Bristol; Shaftesbury School, Shaftesbury; The Ridings High School, Winterbourne; Mill fields School, Street; Cleeve School, Bishop Cleeve.

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