National Teaching Fellow 2009
Alison Wride’s teaching is largely in the area of economics. Her style reflects her belief that understanding of the technical aspects flows more easily when students develop an intuitive way of thinking about the subject, together with an appreciation of its relevance to all aspects of their lives. She uses this approach successfully with varied audiences, from first year undergraduates through to those on post-experience, executive education. Her commitment to enthusing students was recognized in 2006, when she won the student-nominated award from the Economics Subject Network. One first year student commented “Alison has the ability to make you really enjoy economics, so that learning becomes easy. She used football to illustrate microeconomic principles; it was so interesting I even forgave her for supporting Arsenal”.
Alison’s wider work initially focused on transforming the student experience, reflecting her view that with the introduction of fees, universities need to provide opportunities and experiences additional to their academic programmes. Under her leadership as Head of Undergraduate Studies, the school introduced a number of initiatives on employability and put considerable resources into supporting extra-curricular activities such as business competitions and conferences. This approach was a core factor in Exeter being the top business school for student satisfaction in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 National Student Surveys and led to substantial increases in student numbers. As Deputy Director of the School, she is now leading on plans for further growth and the internationalisation of the school.
Alison is currently working closely with HM Treasury and other government bodies, increasing the level of economic skills across the public sector to enable the achievement of public services reform. She finds the combination of teaching and influencing policy hugely satisfying; “The people I work with at the Treasury have a very different level of experience from first year undergraduates, but the principle remains the same. Teach them that Economics is a way of thinking, and then apply the techniques across a range of examples that they will find interesting and relevant.”
Deputy Head of School
University of Exeter