Dept of Economics reviews MA in Development Economics’ curriculum

College of Business & Economics’ Department of Economics has conducted an internal review workshop on one of its two new Post-Graduate programs to be launched in the next academic year – ‘MA in Development Economics’ at Lecture Theatre, Main Campus on 25th June, 2014. MSc in Agricultural Economics is the second program department is contemplating to introduce. 

The College is presently running three Masters i.e. MSc in economic policy analysis, MA in economics (summer program) and MBA.

College Dean, Dr Solomon Markos, in his opening remarks stated, ‘‘The Department of Economics has great potential as it has 7 PhD holders who have churned out 31 graduates so far. Our analysis has evinced that ‘MA in Development Economics’ is highly demanded as there is potential scope for the subject and even the government is giving lot of emphasize on it.’’

Apprising the gathering with the chronological development of the School of Post-Graduate Studies, its Director, Dr Anto Arkato, says, ‘‘Now we are running 35 PG and a PhD programs; in the next academic year, AMU is all set to launch 10 new Programs. However, the challenges we are facing is that PG Guidelines are given a go by.’’

Dr Teferi and Mr Mohammad informing the gathering about PG program’s nomenclature - MA in Development Economics said it will be of two years duration. They further add, Ethiopia characterized by poverty, skewed trade balance, poor industrialization, and unsustainable use of non-renewable resource earnestly and imminently need development practitioners who can formulate and effectively implement both micro and macro-level development policies and strategies to curb the bottlenecks.

They highlighted the essential components of the course i.e. graduate profile, admission procedure, graduation requirements, study duration etc. On course breakdown, they informed, 1st year with two semesters covering nine courses will have 14 and 13 credit hours respectively. In the second year, first year will have Master thesis with two courses worth 9 credit hours and the last semester will entirely be devoted for Master Thesis work.

Key subjects of the program i.e. Advanced microeconomics, Advanced Econometrics, Mathematical Economics, Research Methods for Economists, Development Economics and Policy, International Economics, Natural Resource & Environmental Economics, Agriculture and Rural Development were dealt with.

In the discussion session, various questions on admission criteria, practical aspect of the course, objective, course control, rationale and course nomenclature were deliberated upon. Some expressed their comments and some took exception to some components.

Dr Anto said, the course content is comprehensive; it has required components, detailed outlines and its relevant that show the dynamics of national and global issues. He suggested various recommendations which will be incorporated in the curriculum.

Giving his piece of suggestion, Dr Solomon said, each programs need to have goals, he stressed the inclusion of AMU’s plan to expand graduate programs, demands from stakeholders and the plan of government for PG students giving importance to the higher education will strengthen the course. Government efforts to ease the precarious economic situation and ongoing high economic growth must be mentioned, he opined.

Academic Affairs Vice President, Dr Agena, strongly decried the missing component of graduate seminar, he feels it’s important that teaches students about statistical analysis and what topic to be chosen. It creates an academic environment in which students get and share knowledge; it’s must for research students, he recommended.

Dr Agena, lauding College of Business & Economics, said, ‘‘This curriculum requires improvement; in the country like Ethiopia, which is rapidly registering economic growth needs skilled professional.’’

He appreciated the college for its increasing staff profile and suggested them to go for PhD as they would be having adequate PG programs. The student must have qualitative, in-depth and publishable thesis, which will have bearing on the university profile, he emphasized.

The college is likely to conduct external review workshop for the above PG programs on 1st July, 2014, at Main Campus.

By Philips Joseph