Students from the University of Tasmania’s College of Business and Economics recently participated in a face-to-face masterclass and roundtable discussion hosted by the Premier of Tasmania, the Honourable Peter Gutwein MP.
In his masterclass, the Premier presented an overview of the impacts of COVID-19 on the Tasmanian economy and outlined the steps the Government plans to take to build the economy post-pandemic. This gave students the chance to apply and enhance their place-based economics education by putting theory into practice.
“Our economics courses focus on the Tasmanian context and on building the capacity of students to tackle critical economic issues important to Tasmania now and in the future,” said Senior Lecturer in Economics Dr Clinton Levitt.
“The Premier’s presentation illustrated how place-based economics is used to form policy in a wide range of areas and highlighted the role that economists have in policy-making across different sectors,” Dr Levitt said. “There was rich discussion around future energy, sustainability, and immigration policy, and our students asked some really high-level questions.”
The masterclass was followed by a roundtable Q&A discussion for students in the Catalyst Program. Catalyst is a program for high-achieving school leavers in undergraduate courses and offers learning experiences such as internships, access to research projects, exchange opportunities and special events.
During the roundtable, Catalyst students were able to ask questions on the topic Tasmania: The Future State. The Premier answered and discussed questions on a range of issues, including how to address feelings of isolation in remote communities and how to support workers in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
“The roundtable provided our high achievers with the chance for a one-on-one discussion with the Premier around Tasmania’s economic future. It was a wonderful example of the type of special experiences available to students in the Catalyst Program,” said Dr Levitt said.
Bachelor of Business student Hannah Rule participated in the Catalyst roundtable and took this unique opportunity to discuss her recent internship and the way forward for Tasmania.
“It was an honour to attend the roundtable event with the Premier and share my internship experience with King Island’s Regional Development Organisation. It was a fantastic opportunity to discuss our home state and its future, a topic which I am very passionate about,” said Ms Rule.
Both events were well received, with over 30 students attending the masterclass in person and online and seven Catalyst students participating in the one-on-one roundtable session.
“These sessions were an outstanding success, and the College is extremely grateful for the Premier’s time and expertise,” Interim Executive Dean of the College of Business and Economics Stuart Crispin said. “Our students were thrilled by the opportunity to apply and enhance their place-based economics education with such a distinguished community leader.”
“We hope to offer more opportunities like this to students across all our courses,” said Associate Professor Crispin.