Anzhelica Orlova

Concerning the Question of the Relevance of Sustainable Development-Related Courses in Economy Training

 Master’s program Economics of Sustainable Development has been implemented in PFUR since 2012 as part of 080100 Economics course at the Economics Faculty. The guru of the program was Tatyana A. Akimova, professor at the Department of Macroeconomic Management and Planning, Doctor of Economics. She was the first author and the first head of the program. The baton was then taken up by Yuriy N. Moseykin, Head of Department and Doctor of Economics.

Economics of Sustainable Development is aimed to make educated individuals fit to activities that require profound basic and professional training, inter alia to research work, to develop skills of applying research and cognitive methods to sustainable development management. Particular emphasis has been placed on shaping such system of knowledge, skills and view of the world that would lead an individual to make decisions and actions within the concept of sustainable development, greening of various sectors of economy, unification of natural environment and economic complexes from the sustainability perspective.

The idea of the program was conceived quite a long time ago and was repeatedly discussed at the meetings of the Department. The idea was warmed up by Economics of Sustainable Development that was an obligatory course within the master’s program Financial Economics. It became obvious in the course of training that students of economics (bachelors of economics) are not set to absorb this entirely new material, because the preceding four years of studies were almost totally devoted to purely economic subjects. Understanding current environmental situation, functioning of eco-economic systems and, as a consequence, understanding of how economy affects natural ecosystems, etc. were not even at the basic level. The Economy of Natural Resources Management course was the only exception, though optional. Giving due regard to the sustainability issue, it was decided to introduce relevant elective courses in the study program of the Economics Faculty. A respective master’s program was being developed at the same time.

So, the curriculum was gradually completed with such course units as Introduction to Sustainable Economics (2nd year), Macroeconomic Dimension of Sustainable Development (3rd year), Natural Capital in Sustainable Development (4th year). This laid the basis for shaping systematic knowledge and competencies in students that, given global developments, are not only issues of high concern but also issues that are highly relevant to their future work as economists. This profound work resulted in the establishment of the Economics of Sustainable Development master’s program that attracted students out of those who attended the courses mentioned above.

It should be emphasized that due attention is not paid to human-environment interaction, not mentioning the concept of sustainable development.  An opposite example is Lüneburg University known for its holistic approach. In addition to standard professional courses, Lüneburg University offers to its students of economics other subjects, both economics-related and, as it may seem, unrelated to it. The faculty believes students need to understand how economic processes are interrelated with other aspects of social life, and economic training needs to be multidimensional, versatile and systematic.

In conclusion it should be emphasized that such training approach providing for a set of courses (starting from the first years of study), giving insights in sustainable development, shaping holistic view of the world, developing a new way of thinking in students makes sure that a graduate with such systematic knowledge will become a competent professional capable of balanced decisions.

Appendix

List of course units within the program 080100 – Economics, master’s program Economics of Sustainable Development

 

Name of course unit

Contents

Basic courses

 

  • ·Professional foreign language;
  • ·Econometric (advanced);
  • ·Microeconomics (advanced);
  • ·Macroeconomics (advanced).

Optional courses

 

  • ·Evolution of major ideas of economic management;
  • ·Macroecology and macroeconomics: major interactions;
  • ·Economics of sustainable development;
  • ·Modeling of sustainable eco-economic systems;
  • ·Regional naturalresourcesmanagement;
  • ·New dimensions of sustainable development economics;
  • ·Environmental assessment of investment projects;
  • ·National wealth: modern approaches to measurement.

Electivecourses, moduled

 

  • ·Public healthcare economy and finance
  • ·Investment activity in the context of sustainable development;
  • ·Environmental management;
  • ·Human development: a new dimension of social and economic progress;
  • ·Legal aspects of business activities;
  • ·Corporate reporting in the context of sustainable development indicators;
  • ·Economy and finance of social security;
  • ·Basics of technical regulation in natural resources management
  • ·Economy and finance in education;
  • ·Audit of economic and social programs efficiency in terms of the sustainable development economics;
  • ·System of public control and information reliability in achieving sustainable development goals;
  • ·Mechanisms of project financing of sustainable development of social and economic systems.