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School of Economics organises essay competition for Malaysian students


University of Nottingham Malaysia’s (UNM) School of Economics recently organised an essay competition entitled ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the Malaysian economy. If you were the Finance Minister of Malaysia, discuss three policies that you would implement, why and how they would help Malaysia weather the crisis’.

The essay competition was opened to all pre-university and high school students in Malaysia. A total of 44 essays were received from students across the country. While many of the entries were good in conveying their policies, the entry that stood out the most was from Year 13 student Shirel Leena Ponnudurai from the Nexus International School. Shirel emerged as the overall winner and bagged herself a cash prize of RM1,000.

Shirel’s winning essay was entitled ‘Transition in Disaster: Policy Choices for Malaysian Economic Survival in the COVID-19 Era’.

Associate Professor Luke Okafor, who teaches International Trade and Macroeconomics at UNM, and also the head of the judging panel for the competition, said, “The winning essay was measured and methodical in terms of articulating the economic and healthcare challenges Malaysia faces because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This included targeted fiscal policy options that would help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable individuals, workers, small and medium enterprises, and the healthcare sector.” 

In second place was Chua Yi Xian from SMK Tok Sera while Angeline Tan Sue Yin from Kolej Yayasan UEM emerged as the third place winner. You can read all the winning essays here.

The UNM School of Economics Essay Writing Competition has been organised annually since 2014 to all pre-university and high school students in Malaysia.  The School turns 10 this year having been established in 2010, and offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including BSc (Hons) Economics and BSc (Hons) Economics and International Economics and PhD in Economics.

Dr Teo Wing Leong, Head of School of Economics, said, “We were impressed by quality of the essays that we received and are honoured to have the opportunity to promote economics discussions among pre-university and high school students in Malaysia. We welcome those who want to learn more about Economics to check out the programmes that we offer.”


For media enquiries please contact: Josephine Dionisappu, PR and Communications Manager University of Nottingham Malaysia at  

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Posted on 2nd December 2020

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