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Queen Mary academic nominated for best business book proposal prize

Dr Eileen Tipoe, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance has been shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey’s 2021 Bracken Bower Prize. The Prize is awarded to the best business book proposal by an author aged under 35.

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Dr Tipoe’s book proposes to examine the shift in priorities of higher education in the UK and US in the last thirty years, from focusing on the development of a student’s character to the development of a career. Dr Tipoe will look at the how and why of this and analyse the impact it has had both on how students learn and the university experience.

It will use insights from a range of fields – including economics, psychology, philosophy, and political science – to offer readers a new perspective about what it means to be educated today.

The book will discuss the ‘equalising’ effect of education that has been stated for centuries – as far back as Horace Mann, the notable American educator, in 1848 – and repeated by Arne Duncan, then U.S. Secretary of Education, in 2011.

With more students than ever before in the UK and US enrolling in higher education, Dr Tipoe outlines that following this line of thought should mean we see the equalising effects across society. Yet she cites growing evidence to suggest that this might not necessarily be the case as she explores the functions of an education system.

The winner of the Bracken Bower Prize will be announced on December 1, and will receive £15,000.

Outlining her hopes for the book, Dr Eileen Tipoe, Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary, said: “Everyone has experienced the education system in some way. I hope this book will inspire them to think not just about the purpose of higher education, but also its effect on society and the workplace.”

Dr Tipoe’s research is in applied microeconomics, covering a diverse range of topics including higher education, time use, creativity, and subjective wellbeing. This book proposal was inspired by her work on the CORE Project, an international initiative that provides accessible, relevant, real-world economics teaching, available and free for everyone.