Dr Tipoe was awarded £15,000 for her proposal on the future of higher education. Her plans outlined an exploration of 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.
Dr Tipoe argues against the idea that universities must choose to focus on one of career and character development of their students. Instead, she believes that it is both possible and crucial that an equal focus is given to both simultaneously.
Judges were impressed with the “well-researched, well-organised proposal” put forward by Dr Tipoe alongside her co-author from the University of Cambridge. It was decided to be the best example of a proposal that offered a valuable look into future trends in business, economics, finance, or management.
The book 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.
Dr Eileen Tipoe, Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary, said: “I am thrilled to win this year’s Bracken Bower Prize and I am looking forward to putting pen to paper on what is an incredibly important issue.
“Across the UK and the US, universities naturally focus on career development and equipping students for good jobs in later life. But one of our core arguments is that job prospects and career success can only be improved by making character development a central part of the education students receive.
“As well as examining changing priorities in higher education over the last few decades, we also want the book to spark much-needed conversation on increasing diversity within universities, the need for employers to look at skills rather than where a candidate studied, and the potential of educational technologies to improve the university experience in the post-Covid era.”
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.