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Home > Wednesday Wisdoms: Newsletter > How do I choose my University Course?

Welcome to the 8th edition of Wednesday Wisdoms by EdGenie!

Every Wednesday I send out actionable tips, tricks and real-world application insights from my 13-year experience coaching students to achieve As and A* in their Economics and Business A Levels.

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How do I choose my university course? 🎓📉

Hey Genies, 🌟
Choosing the right university and course is kind of like piecing together a puzzle, isn't it? 🧩
Each step you take should seamlessly connect to the next, forming a clear picture of your future. 🖼️
It's your journey and a hefty investment, so let's ensure you shape it perfectly, with a cost rounding to £100,000. 💷
Here’s a step-by-step guide that loops back nicely, helping you create that perfect picture. 🔄

Step 1: Start with the Job in Mind 🎯

1. Imagine yourself a few years from now. Where do you see yourself working? In investment banking or at a top-notch consultancy firm? Pin that image in your mind because that’s your end goal, and what we’re working backwards from. If you don't have an exact specific end goal, have an idea you are 60-70% sure of. 🤔

Step 2: Understand the Graduate Programmes 🎓

2. Now, keeping that goal in mind, explore the graduate programmes at industry giants like JP Morgan, PWC, or KKR. What are their prerequisites? More often than not, a second-year internship is your gateway to securing a graduate programme. Understand this well, as it will shape your university choices. 🔍

Step 3: Select the Ideal Course 📚

With the knowledge of internship requisites, your next focus should be on selecting a course that matches. Could it be Accounting, Economics, or Management? If your future job is in the finance sector's marketing wing, then zeroing in on a Marketing degree could also be a sensible choice, then completing a Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification (+ maybe a finance related one) to give you the best chance. Align this choice with the insights gained from step 2. 🛠️

Step 4: Pinpoint the Perfect University 🏫

Alright, moving onto picking the right university. Now, combine your course selection with universities known to excel in those fields. Remember, the university you pick should not only offer the course but have a reputation that aligns well with your ultimate job destination. ⭐

Step 5: Line up the Right A-Levels 📈

Now, rewind back to your current stage: A-Levels. Your subject choices here should be in line with the prerequisites of the university course you identified in step 4. For example, most Economics Degrees require Maths as a prerequisite. Make sure your A-levels are a solid foundation that propels you smoothly onto your chosen path. If they don't currently, then choose the next best university course for it. 💡

And there you go! 💫
By following this guide, you're essentially constructing a bridge from your dream job back to where you are now, ensuring a smooth and straight path to success. 🌉
It's your future, sculpt it wisely. 🗿
You have all the tools now, go ahead and build your dream, step by step. 🛠️
You can absolutely do this! 💪

BMW invests in Oxford plant as it plans more electric Minis


BMW's Oxford Plant:
BMW plans to invest up to £600m for future electric Mini production.
The UK government offers £75m in support.

Production Shifts:
Electric Minis started in Cowley in 2019.
BMW moved most electric car production to China and some to Leipzig, Germany.
Oxford remains the "home of the Mini". All Minis to be electric by 2030.

UK Car Industry Changes:
2022 car production hit the lowest since 1956.
Honda's Swindon and Ford's Bridgend plants closed recently.
Britishvolt's "gigafactory" plans collapsed but were taken over by Recharge Industries.

Other Investments:
Ford invests £380m for electric vehicle motors in Halewood.
Stellantis backs electric van production in Ellesmere Port with £100m.
Government-funded gigafactory construction ongoing next to Nissan's Sunderland plant.

Government Aims:
UK government aims for a stake in the electric car market.
Jaguar Land Rover's parent company, Tata, in talks for potential UK gigafactory funding.
Spain is also competing for this investment

A Level Economics Questions:

Q: Using the case of BMW's £600m investment and the UK government's offer of £75m in support, discuss the potential economic benefits and drawbacks of government intervention in the automobile industry. How might this support influence BMW's long-term production decisions?​

​A:Benefits of Government Intervention
Stimulates Production: The £75m support could act as a catalyst for further investments, encouraging production to remain or increase in the UK.
Job Security: Can prevent potential layoffs or provide job opportunities, given that companies might be more inclined to operate in the region due to the financial incentives.
Technological Advancements: Subsidised investments can lead to research and development, pushing the industry's technological boundaries.

Misallocation of Resources: The government might invest taxpayer money into projects that don't necessarily yield a long-term economic return.
Moral Hazard: Firms might become reliant on government bailouts or support, leading them to take unwarranted risks.
Influence on BMW: The support could make BMW maintain its operations in the UK, anticipating more subsidies and leading to long-term commitments to the region.
Q: Analyse the economic factors that might have influenced BMW's decision to move most of its electric car production to China and some to Leipzig, Germany. Using the data of the UK car production in 2022 being the lowest since 1956, comment on the potential reasons and implications for such a decline in domestic production.
Factors for BMW's Production Shift:
Cost Efficiency: Producing in China could be cheaper due to lower labour and manufacturing costs.
Market Proximity: Being closer to the large Asian market allows for quicker distribution and responsiveness to market changes.
Joint Ventures: Collaborations, like with Great Wall Motor, can offer technological and market advantages.
Decline Reasons and Implications:
Potential Causes: Brexit uncertainties and global competition.
Implications: Economic slowdown, job losses, and a potential decline in foreign direct investment.

Q: Evaluate the potential economic impact on the UK's economy of significant plant closures, such as Honda's Swindon and Ford's Bridgend. How might these closures, combined with Britishvolt's initial collapse, affect employment, foreign direct investment, and economic growth in the short and long term?
A: Economic Impacts:
Direct Unemployment: Immediate job losses from the closure of plants.
Indirect Effects: Suppliers and dependent sectors might face losses, leading to further unemployment.
Reduced FDI: Closures might signal instability or unprofitability, deterring future foreign direct investments.
GDP Reduction: The automobile sector, a significant contributor to the UK's GDP, will see reduced outputs. Britishvolt's collapse signals potential volatility in the electric battery sector, crucial for the transition to electric vehicles.

Q: Discuss the potential economic outcomes of government-backed projects, such as Ford's £380m investment in Halewood and the £100m backing for Stellantis in Ellesmere Port. How might public funding change the competitive dynamics of the electric car market in the UK?
A: Economic Outcomes:
Stimulated Production: The likes of Ford's and Stellantis's investments, with government backing, can increase electric vehicle production in the UK.
Technological Progress: Such funding can lead to research, innovation, and the development of more efficient electric vehicles.
Increased Competition: Financial backing can level the playing field, allowing UK manufacturers to compete more effectively with international players. This, in turn, positions the UK as a key player in the global electric vehicle industry.

Possible A Level Economics 25 Marker Question

Evaluate the potential short-term and long-term impacts on the UK economy, given the recent investment patterns and decisions in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, as exemplified by BMW's investment in its Oxford plant and the government's funding initiatives. In your response, consider factors such as employment, foreign direct investment, technological advancement, and global competitiveness.

Infographic of the Week

Global Trade

Hong Kong's airport leads in global cargo movement, maintaining the top spot for nearly 28 years, with Memphis, Anchorage, and Shanghai following closely. While most of these top cargo airports don't rank similarly in passenger traffic, their strategic locations and facilities, such as FedEx's significant presence in Memphis and UPS's Worldport in Louisville, enhance their cargo capacities. Despite an overall increase in global cargo movement surpassing pre-pandemic levels, geopolitical tensions have reduced cargo volumes in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Air cargo is crucial, with airports handling around $6 trillion in goods annually, or 35% of global trade.

Chart of the Week

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) annually publishes the ‘Blue Book’ detailing the UK's economic activity from the prior year. Although the 2023 edition is set to release on 31 October, the ONS has already revised statistics from the 2021 Blue Book, adjusting GDP figures for prior years. While the changes seem minor in total GDP value, the implications for growth trends, especially when inflation-adjusted, are significant. For instance, a previously reported 11.0% economic contraction in 2020 is now adjusted to 10.4%, followed by a stronger recovery. These revisions have sparked varied reactions and led to a review by the Office for Statistics Regulation to understand the oversight.

Macroeconomic Data

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