Money and credit

Essay Competition counts the cost of money

Does money really make the world go round?  Is the question being put to Year 12 students in Cornwall, by Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus in the annual essay writing competition.

Students between the ages of 16 – 18 will be encouraged to enter the competition, write the essay over the summer and submit their essay to the University by Friday 4 September. Essays will be judged on their originality of argument, accuracy of content and quality of original research.  The winners will receive prizes up to the value of £75.00.

The influence and significance of money or the ethical implications of living in a society where value is determined by money, are areas of study students may wish to consider for an essay.  Alternatively, they could look at or imagine what societies without money might look like, or how they could be ordered.  What might be more important than money?  Nationalism, religion and, or co-operation.

Dr Tim Cooper, who will be leading a seminar on the essay theme, said ‘Historians have something important to say in the context of the experience’s of the credit crunch and recession.  A historical perspective enables people to take a more informed approach to contemporary issues and reminds us that things are not, and do not stay the same.  There is always room for change and the possibility of something better.’

The essay question reflects the interdisciplinary research strengths on the Cornwall Campus and has been formulated to allow AS level students in any subject to participate.  It is also a useful preparation for the processes of learning that students experience at university level which requires self-directed research, critical thought and the confidence to express a well-evidenced argument.

Following last years successful essay competition, won by David Higham from Truro College with Sam Tomlinson from Falmouth School taking second place and Truro College student Angus Macdonald taking third; the University is keen to continue in getting more schools and colleges on board.  The aim is to encourage students to think about history and social sciences as subjects to study at degree level. 

Schools and colleges with sixth forms were invited to the launch of the competition at the Cornwall Campus earlier this month where they participated in a seminar and lecture that addressed relevant themes in the essay title. 

Date: 30 June 2009

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