University of Nottingham Malaysia
News and Events

STPM student bags top prize in UNM's economics essay competition


Gwendolyn Chan Hui Pei, an STPM student from SMK Batu Lintang in Kuching bags the first prize in an economics essay competition.

The essay competition was organised recently by University of Nottingham Malaysia’s (UNM) School of Economics together with World Bank Group Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Finance Hub in Malaysia.

The topic for the essay competition was “What would be the economic consequences for Malaysia if technology replaces 50% of current jobs in the country? Who would benefit, and who would lose? Would we be better off ultimately?” and it was open to all pre-university and high school students in Malaysia.

The School of Economics introduced this essay competition in 2014 as a way to get high school students in Malaysia to explore some of the critical issues in economics.

In her winning essay, Gwendolyn, an Economics student, highlighted how technology has taken over the workforce in the past, how it is currently happening and will continue to do so in the future.

One example she cited was how bank tellers in the US were replaced by ATMs. Although it was not well received at first, the introduction of ATMs led to the growth in the stock market that further created more job openings.  

According to UNM Head of the School of Economics Dr Teo Wing Leong, the judging panel felt that Gwendolyn’s essay had a good flow. They also liked how she skillfully integrated historical precedence of technological change and critically integrated arguments about how technological change can affect the lives of people in a society and the circumstances in which technological change can have lower impact on unemployment.

In second place was Lee Ricson from Hin Hua High School, while third place went to Oah Xin Yi and Shyla Sharma, Cambridge A Levels students from Inti International College Penang. Ricson won RM800 while Xin Yi and Shyla received RM600.

The consolation prize winners were Alex Peter from Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Bahasa Antarabangsa, Chung Po Ching Stephenie from Tenby International School, and Hiew Tzy Hwan and Naveelan Selvan from University of Nottingham Foundation in Business and Management. All consolation prize winners received RM350 in cash.

Last year, the contest winner was Shirel Leena Ponnudurai from the Nexus International School.

“Congratulations to all the winners! We are impressed by the quality of the entries that we received. The judging panel was happy to read about the interesting arguments and ideas that the participants put forth and we hope this competition will continue to inspire students to explore issues in Economics critically,” said Dr Teo.

Dr Teo together with first prize winner Gwendolyn appeared on Astro Awani’s Notepad with Ibrahim Sani programme on 1 July 2021 to discuss the competition and Gwendolyn’s win. The full video can be viewed here.

The contest ran from 1 April to 1 June and attracted a total of 48 entries from students across the country.

(Article and thumbnail caption: From left to right: Dr Teo Wing Leong, Ibrahim Sani and Gwendolyn Chan Hui Pei were featured in Notepad With Ibrahim Sani on Astro Awani.)


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. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. 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. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. 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. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted on 7th July 2021

University of Nottingham Malaysia

Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

telephone: +6 (03) 8924 8000
fax: +6 (03) 8924 8001

Make an enquiry