The second semester of 2016 saw the introduction of a third-year project-based course (ECON3900 Special Unit – Project Based Learning), the first of its kind at UQ Economics. Students were coached by Professor Flavio Menezes on preparing a high-level report on the notion of value capture as an approach to fund urban transport infrastructure. Professor Menezes has over two decades of experience providing advice to the public and private sectors on economic matters, and students were able to draw on this experience to prepare their report.
The first four student to take this course were Jonathon Clark-Jones, Nicholas Harvey, Filip Milosavljevic and Preeti Sing. The students’ final presentation took place at the UQ Business School Downtown with the attendance of several senior government and private sector economists. Their final report illustrates the ability of UQ economics students to apply economics tools to real world problems.
Preeti Sing said “the experience of presenting to a group of industry leaders, and having their opinions and questions of our work directed to us was challenging, but was a highly beneficial experience.”
The students have been successful in securing jobs after graduation and credit their success to the report they prepared as part of the course. Filip Milosavljevic said it was the most enjoyable and important course of his degree. He though the topic “was extremely relevant to current economic problems” and is continuing to work on Value Capture as an Economist at the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.
Preeti Sing is working with engineering consultancy AECOM as a graduate in their Transport Advisory team.
Pamela Dodd, a UQ economics alumna and Senior Consultant from Synergies Economic Consulting who was at the final presentation, stated: “The students' presentation was excellent. It was great to see students applying economic analysis to recommend options for addressing contemporary policy issues. These skills are highly sought after.”
Professor Menezes said that the “quality of the final report reflects the outstanding training that economics students receive at UQ”. He expects this type of opportunity will become part of the student experience at UQ economics.