Undergrad class publishes book on development economics topics

- Anne MacLaurin

Most university students don’t have their research published until they are in graduate school—not so for students in Dr. Alok Kumar’s third-year Development and Economics course. Kumar compiled his students’ research into a book—Governance, Social and Physical Infrastructure, and Development—that was recently published by Lambert Academic Publication in Germany.

“Most of the students had never taken an economics course before,” says Kumar. “The students came from diverse backgrounds with one thing in common—a passion for development studies and empathy for the poor and the underprivileged.”

The students worked in groups and devised their own topics that touched on such development issues as poverty, hunger, gender inequality, child labour and globalization. They examined factors that inhibited the process of development and the political, social and economic environments faced by the poor.

“It has been a pleasure teaching them and putting together a book based on their projects,” says Kumar. “The major strength of this book is that it provides a window into how young minds from very diverse backgrounds think about development issues.”

Being published has helped some of these students get into grad school or gain employment with development agencies.

“It was unexpected for most students,” says Kumar, “and a boost to their academic credentials.”

Kumar is offering Econ 329: Development and Economics again this term. He hopes to publish another book of undergraduate research, since his first group of students exceeded his expectations.

Read the introduction to Governance, Social and Physical Infrastructure, and Development online at http://web.uvic.ca/~kumara/intro.pdf

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Keywords: research

People: Alok Kumar

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