Students take on the Bank of England

Economists from Trent College are among more than a thousand students from across the country competing in this year’s Interest Rate Challenge

A team of budding student economists from Trent College took on the role of the Bank of England when they competed in the 15th annual Bank of England and The Times Interest Rate Challenge – Target Two Point Zero – in November.

Target Two Point Zero sees teams of students aged 16-18 take on the role of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, assess economic conditions and the outlook for inflation, and tell panels of judges what monetary policy they would set to achieve the Government’s inflation target of 2.0 per cent.

The seven-strong Trent College year 13 team of Elliot Wragg (capt), Edward Church, Peter Nathanail, Kevin Xu, helped by Leo Crocker, Jerry Wang and Dom Kalantary, were among more than 1,000 students participating in the challenge’s regional heats.

The UK economy remains at the heart of public debate with the bank’s monetary policy committee’s monthly decisions always making news.

Some 314 teams have been competing in 42 regional heats, with each team analysing UK and global economic data and their possible impact on inflation and the economic outlook for the UK, just as the monetary policy committee does. The teams must then decide if current monetary policy is appropriate or needs to be adjusted to meet the 2.0 per cent inflation target set by the government.

In a presentation to a panel of Bank of England judges, each team explains their decision, then has that decision scrutinised by the panel, a process that also helps the students develop both teamwork and presentation skills.

Diane Mansell, head of economics and business education at Trent College, said: “We are committed to enabling students to develop both breadth and depth in their knowledge and understanding of our subjects. 

“We challenge students to think beyond the obvious and competitions like Target Two Point Zero raise their awareness of the economic considerations and allows them to apply their knowledge practically to make informed business decisions.”

The winning team from each regional heat will update their presentations ahead of competing in one of the six area finals held around the UK in February 2015. Those six area winners teams will then contest the national final, held at the Bank of England’s head office in March 2015, with the Challenge Trophy and a cheque for £5,000 at stake.

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