Economics student ‘Highly Commended’ by the Royal Economic Society

24 October 2018

Kieran Mardania is currently studying Economics, History and English Literature at Ashton Sixth Form College. He has been highly commended by the Royal Economic Society following his entry to the RES Essay Competition. 

Kieran found out about the essay competition after his Economics teacher put a poster up on the door to his classroom. The competition has gathered a lot of attention across the country and this year it received an overwhelming number of nearly 1,300 entries – of which the RES said it was “one of the largest responses ever to our young economist of the year competition” (

From a choice of questions, Kieran was asked to write a 2,000 word essay and he chose to explore the question: ‘What explains the UK’s “productivity puzzle”?’

The UK’s productivity is measured by the rate at which work is produced. In recent years, productivity has remained very much flat due to the economic downturn of 2007 ( His project explored the possible explanations for this ‘puzzle’ and what this means for the UK economy. It is a topic that remains at the forefront of the UK’s economic issues. The essay was entirely independent and required him to conduct a high level of academic research mainly across news articles and academic journals, developing his time management and investigative skills. Kieran explained,

“I did find the process difficult because it was the first time I’d worked at university-level but I enjoyed the final product and what I was able to achieve.”
“The essay and the project has helped me a lot. I applied to take part in Summer Schools this year and a lot of those require you to submit an essay as part of the application.”

The skills he has developed throughout the essay competition have helped him in his college studies, as well as applying for future opportunities including Summer Schools. During the summer, Kieran took part in the Oxnet Summer School with Pembroke College, a week-long residential summer school covering three schools: Humanities, Theology & Science. His dedication to learning and the countless opportunities he has gotten involved in throughout his first year at Ashton are a testament to his character. 

In the future Kieran has plans to go to university. He has submitted his early applications and is now hoping to secure his place at the University of Oxford to study History and Politics. He has also applied to Durham University, LSE and UCL – all ranked in the top 10 universities for Politics, History and Economics subjects (The Complete University Guide).

Trudy Melvin, Kieran's Teacher of Economics at Ashton Sixth Form College said,

“This is a fantastic achievement for Kieran - he is an exceptional economist and we are so pleased his hard work has been recognised.”

Ashton Sixth Form College looks forward to seeing Kieran continue to work hard and excel in his future aspirations.

Find out more about Business course at Ashton here.

Tags: business competition economics

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