Review of the Year 2016


Date 2016 writtenAnother year goes by as we mark the beginning of a new year. For some people, 2016 may have been one of their best years to date, while for some, unfortunately, it may have been one of their worst. From a more global perspective, I am sure you all will agree with me in marking 2016 as one of the most action-packed years the world has lived to see. From many iconic figures parting from the world to groundbreaking political shifts, quite a number of events made the headlines in the past 365 days.

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Making a good start with Mathematics and Statistics


Hello readers.LSE Study guides

Today’s conversation marks roughly one year since I started collaborating with the Official Student Blog. To celebrate the event, I titled this post after my very first one, the subjects involved being obviously different.

I’m sure many newly-enrolled students in Economics, Management, Finance and the Social Sciences (EMFSS) programmes will have to take a combination of Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, Statistics 1, and/or Statistics 2. With this in mind, why not share with you some general information about those units? Even prospective students might find it useful.

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How I chose and studied for Economic Geography…


Map of world and moneyHaving been affiliated with an institution where we had lecturers to teach us the entire course and guide us until the day of the examination, studying an entire course on my own was a whole new experience. It was a risk, because I was used to being pampered by lecturers not only delivering the syllabus but dealing with every single problem I had. However, I had a few options to select my fourth course from, and after skimming through their respective subject guides, Economic Geography seemed like the best and the most interesting option to me. Unfortunately, Economic Geography was a course that was not being taught at my institution, so I decided to take the risk and go ahead with it alone. I was scared, I have to admit. I had no idea how I would make myself study for it without any classes, and how the result would turn out to be.

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Steps you should take if you are planning on applying for your Masters this year…


Degree Graduation capIt is that time of the year when we are all busy in our own ways; vacationing in Thailand, going on a shopping spree in Dubai, building the CV by interning at a local or international firm, finishing off those series you did not get to watch all year (although it cannot be the famous ‘Game of Thrones’ because who does not get time to watch that one even if there is an exam the next day, right?), or just lazing around at home. That being said, if you have graduated or are going to graduate next year and are planning on pursuing a Master’s degree, now is the time to get to work.

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How to plan your studies


PlanningHello readers and colleagues!

I know… it’s been a while since our last conversation but I’m back with some potentially interesting thoughts for you.

How to plan your studies? How to make sure we begin the new academic year in the best possible way? It sounds like a subjective matter but there are some general considerations that apply to almost all of us.

We should take advantage of this relatively quiet period – academically speaking – to carefully devise a basic plan. In my brief experience, I learnt the earlier we start planning (i.e. structuring our studies), the better our results and the more enjoyable the journey.

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European Union?


Hailed as the most successful model of regional integration,1 the EU’s unity is challenged on economic, political, and – perhaps most importantly – social grounds. Thriving extremist parties, uncoordinated responses to migration, barbed-wire-fenced frontiers, Schengen Agreement suspension, day-to-day “misunderstandings” between member states, and a pivotal referendum to be held in the UK next June threaten the Union’s stability as well as its so often praised common fundamental values. In short, a region crumbling under the weight of potentially irreconcilable differences between members. Strikingly, all of this ignores recent fights over the Euro, which would make things even worse.

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Five great resources to help you understand economics


binocularsIt is not a secret that a challenging “Introduction to Economics” course by Amos Witztum might be a tough experience for aspiring economics students. This post addresses some of the strategies how to tackle the subject and provides concrete and practical advice on how to learn and, most importantly, understand the core material.

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Past exam papers and examiners’ commentaries


University of London sample exam paperOver the last few weeks, I had some nice conversations with fellow students. The hottest topics turned out to be May’s exams and how to get prepared for them. In addition, some first-year students asked me about examiners’ commentaries and how to make best use of these. Therefore, I thought I’d post something on the Blog to share my views with a larger audience.

Well, we’ve got four months left before examinations. According to my year-wise objectives, this period marks a shift from short-term routine to mid-/long-term planning, which involves practice and perfection of acquired techniques until May. Now, we won’t necessarily agree on the best way to approach exams or when to start revising. However, we should at least concur on the following: practice with past exam papers should take most of our study time.

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Ending Violence Against Women


Violence Against Women (Zara Qaiser)As the 16 days of activism against Gender-based violence following the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women on the 25th of November comes to an end, I see a positive trend in the fight against gender based violence across the world. From the illumination of famous buildings like the National Monument of Pakistan in orange, to events like the International Istanbul Marathon, the world stands together in carrying out “Orange Events” as a part of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign, with an aim to ”Orange the World”.

Defined as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life” by the United Nations, violence against women is a repercussion of the lingering inequalities that exist between men and women, leading to discrimination against women in practice. With every one in three women experiencing physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, violence against women remains a global endemic that not only affects mental and physical health but also has socio-economic costs as it inhibits development in terms of poverty alleviation, peace and security, and in the struggle against AIDS.

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Why studying independently is so much fun


Economics textbooksThe University of London International Programmes (UoL) offers a programme which may not suit everyone, but anyone who embarks on the journey will probably never regret it. The International Programmes provides a model of affordable and prestigious education which is unique to the world: self-study education where you earn a recognised degree from an institution based in UK.

Having received two degrees in telecommunication science previous to my studies at UoL (one in Germany and one in Russia), I felt blessed to have the opportunity to study independently at one of the UK’s most prestigious universities. My motivation to study at the University was primarily driven by desire “to understand” economics which I somehow have always had. After research, it became apparent to me that only one institution in the world would satisfy my criteria of flexibility of online education, which could be combined with my daily job; quality control in form of direct examinations sat at examination centers globally; and depth of expertise – the UoL International programmes. And so there I was back in 2011 looking at my first study guides shipped to me by the UoL.

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