University of Iceland

The economic crash changed the curriculum

The economic crash changed the curriculum

“The research is aimed at analysing to what extent teaching and curricula in finances and economics at a university level need to be revised in light of the recent havoc in international finance. Furthermore, various critiques that had come forward previously are examined,” says Gylfi Magnússon, Associate Professor in finances at the Faculty of Business Administration, about a study he is currently working on. The subject is close to his heart as he has taught both finance and economics at the University of Iceland, written text books in both subjects, and worked in the field in various other ways; including holding the position of Minister of Economic Affairs for a while after the collapse. “It is obvious to me that university lecturers in this field cannot continue to use the same curricula,” says Magnússon.

Certain research results are already available. “It is obvious in my view that one of the main premises in economics and finance, ie. that actors in markets in general make rational decisions based on the right reasons is false. This has diverse consequences for the subjects. There is a lot more research needed in this area,” adds Magnússon.

He says that all fields of study must be in constant renewal, “because new knowledge replaces what were previously considered acknowledged truths. The need is unusually dire now in finance and economics, as the foundations have been shaken in these academic fields,” says Magnússon. Reactions to the situation are in his opinion not only important for the academic community, but have pragmatic meaning for western societies. “The societies base their financial systems; and to some extent their decisions, for example regarding state budgets, on findings in these fields of study.”


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