Nationwide push to expand economic horizons

January 7, 2005

Economics departments are looking to swell their ranks, with Sheffield University, Nottingham University and Queen Mary, University of London, all advertising in this week's Times Higher .

Sheffield has vacancies for two chairs and seven posts at lecturer, senior lecturer and reader level.

Simon Tebbutt, deputy head of Sheffield's economics department, said: "This is part of our commitment to expand the department in line with increasing student numbers." It was also a commitment to keep the department open against the trend of merging departments with business schools, he added.

Sheffield's economics department spawned a management school that then swallowed it, Mr Tebbutt said, but in 1997 the department was given its independence again.

"It's difficult to find suitable UK national staff for posts because fewer and fewer UK graduates are going on to do economics PhDs." A stand-alone economics department was a big draw for high-calibre applicants, he said.

Glasgow has also been looking to fill three new positions. It is advertising for a professor, a reader and two lectureships to join three appointments made nine months ago.

Farhad Noorbakhsh, head of the economics department, said: "The idea is to expand the department and expand its research potential, research students and PhD taught programmes in the area of economics and finance."

Dr Noorbakhsh's department has fared well in a competitive recruitment market, relying on advertising and headhunters.

"Existing research output is at the top of the agenda. In the last round, we had two chair posts and appointed only one," he said. The other chair was frozen until a suitable candidate was found.

The falling number of students going on to postgraduate study was a problem generally, but it did not affect Glasgow, he added. The department is hoping to add five courses to the existing eight.

Queen Mary is seeking applications from international scholars to fill two chairs and one lectureship. It is part of its drive to maintain and enhance its research assessment exercise 5-rating.

Nottingham has an opening for a lecturer in economics. York University is recruiting a chair, a lecturer and a reader in microeconomics, and a senior lecturer in finance.

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