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The University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Economics and Business is set to start the new academic year with a bang by organising a series of lectures for first year students at the Royal Theater Carré. Prominent professors who will take the stage include Barbara Baarsma, Arnoud Boot, Willemijn van Dolen, Maarten Pieter Schinkel and Sweder van Wijnbergen.

Credits: FEB

The lectures form part of the compulsory course ‘Principles of Economics and Business’, which deals with the most important ideas and themes within the field of economics and business. All students of the Faculty of Economics and Business are required to take this course during the first year of their Bachelor’s programme. Lectures will also be given at DeLaMar Theater.

Independent minds

‘Our programmes are highly respected and attract a great deal of interest from students both locally and internationally, especially our new programmes in Business Administration and Economics & Business Economics’, says faculty dean Han van Dissel. ‘It is terrific that some of our faculty’s most distinguished researchers will already present themselves directly to first year students during the opening week – and that at such a magnificent venue like Carré. ‘Our education is strongly geared towards developing an independent mind and teaching students to think critically. Who better to initiate students into this process than our leading experts.’     

‘The lectures tackle important, Nobel Prize-winning ideas and concepts in the field of economics and business. We look at their origins in the history of ideas and show how they could be applied in practice and to contemporary issues, ranging from marihuana to the financial crisis. We then deal with the issues in depth through small interactive tutorials, which allow students to acquire the skills to critically discuss and apply the theory. Together, both form an excellent combination with which to become acquainted with the “principles” of our field’, says Maarten Pieter Schinkel, professor of Competition Economics and Regulation and course coordinator. ‘The motto of Cowen & Tabarrok’s book Modern Principles of Economics is that “economics is the study of how to get the most out of life”. We use the same motto in the course, which is fitting for Carré. I am really forward to it.’

The first lecture will be delivered by philosopher Bas Haring, professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Leiden University. Haring decided to study economics, starting with microeconomics at the Faculty of Economics and Business (under Schinkel), at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. He would later go on to author the book ‘Why Coca-Cola is More Expensive than Milk’ (Waarom cola duurder is dan melk, Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2016).

Kick-off and conclusion

This isn’t the first time the faculty will be making use of the Royal Theater Carré. Every year, the faculty organises a series of lectures by guest speakers from the corporate sector for students of the Master’s programme in Business Administration titled ‘UvA in Carré’. The faculty has also been holding graduation ceremonies at Carré for some time now. Van Dissel: ‘A graduation ceremony in Carré, a stone’s throw away from the faculty, is a well-earned celebration for our students in what is a beautiful and historical setting. It is truly wonderful to be able to kick-off our study programmes at the same venue.’