Economics undergraduates rewarded for resilience, determination and performance

  • Date

    Wed 24 May 23

photo of Ian Sinclair Begg giving a presentation

Thanks to the generosity of an Essex graduate, the Department of Economics last year awarded four prizes to undergraduates with the most improved academic performance.

The Ian Sinclair Begg Economics Award marks the generous donation which makes this prize possible. This year, students taking their exams will get the same chance to be recognised for their improved performance.

Ian gained his BA Economics in the 1970s at Essex. He then moved to the University of Southampton where he received his MSc and PhD in Economics. After this he worked as a stockbroker and fund manager for 10 years at JP Morgan Chase and HSBC in the City of London, before moving to Vienna, where he worked as an institutional fund manager for the OPEC Fund for International Development for 26 years up to 2014. He is now an investment consultant and a lecturer, a keen golfer and a badminton international. He visits Essex regularly.

The prize is awarded to the most improved academic performance on a course owned by the Department of Economics, including any joint courses, by:

  • Comparing year marks between Year 1 and Year 2, the student with the most improved performance will be awarded £650. The ‘runner up’ will be awarded £350.
  • Comparing year marks between Year 2 and Year 3, the student with the most improved performance will be awarded £650. The ‘runner up’ will be awarded £350.

Winners of the awards in 2022 talk of feeling a boost in motivation, pride in their performance and gratitude for the recognition of their efforts.

Andrew Kyriakides said: “This award means a lot to me as it is given to the person with the best improvement in results rather than to the person achieving the highest result all year round. This award is very powerful when looking for jobs as employers are looking for candidates who are willing to learn, grow, and strive for the best, and this award highlights these qualities.”

Amri Ssekajja said: “I am incredibly grateful for earning this award. During my first year, I would not say I was the most focused student but in my second year, I really buckled down and grafted for my result, and I am glad that this has been recognized. I know that my 3rd year is going to be a new challenge, but I am ready to get back to work and do even better than I have done this year.

“Having done some research on Ian Sinclair Begg, I hope to achieve what he has in the future and receiving this award has given me extra motivation to go forward to work hard and do that.”