Skip main navigation

Vince Cable teams up with the University of Nottingham and FutureLearn to make economics accessible to everyone

Cable’s course on The Politics of Economics and the Economics of Politicians will be open for enrolment today

London, Tuesday 24th January, FutureLearn, the leading global social learning platform, owned by The Open University, has today announced its collaboration with their partner institution, The University of Nottingham, to launch a course on the ‘The Politics of Economics and The Economics of Politicians’. The course will be led by Honorary Professor of Economics and former Coalition Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable.

The course, spearheaded by Vince Cable, is designed to explore the link between politics and economics by looking at the work of some major political figures and the key economic ideas they adopted. Learners are not expected to have any prior experience or qualifications, just a keen interest in discovering the link between politics and economics. The course will also be taken by undergraduate students at the University of Nottingham. Learners will be able to:

  •      Apply the theory of economics to politics
  •      Investigate the impact of the 2008 financial crisis
  •      Understand the scope and methods of economics
  •      Assess the effect of monetarism and rolling back the state

Vince Cable, lead educator and pioneer of the course said: “I have spent around half my adult life as an economist in universities, government and business and the rest in politics. As such, I have been fascinated by the links between the two: how politicians use economic ideas and how economists influence policy.  Most of the big economic ideas we see being applied in the real world are there because politicians adopted, promoted and implemented them; otherwise they would remain in books.”

Vince continued: “This project looks at some of the key political figures who came to represent major economic movements: Thatcher and Thatcherism; Deng and Chinese reform; Ehrhard and the German ‘wirtschaftswunder’; and comparable figures in earlier generations. By delving into these movements, I hope to inspire people to learn more about economics and politics, appreciate the relationship between the two fields, and use this knowledge to help understand the economic and political situation of today, and tomorrow.”

Professor Cecilia Testa, a course lead from the School of Economics at The University of Nottingham, said: “We are delighted to be leading this course with Sir Vince. Through the course, we hope to offer a broad range of people the opportunity to take a closer look at the links between politics and economics. The course is unique as we will be doing this through the eyes of leading economists at the University as well as through the eyes of a politician. We will be looking at both contemporary politics as well as the political leaders who have impacted on economic theories throughout history.”

FutureLearn Head of Content Nigel Smith commented: “It is a pleasure to be working with both The University of Nottingham and Vince Cable to deliver a course of this nature.  The course provides a unique blend of theoretical insight and practical experience, with the opportunity for learners to ask questions and comment throughout the course and grow their understanding of this key area of government.”

The course will be available for enrollment as of today, while the course itself will be available from 20th March 2017. Certificates of Achievement and Statements of Participation will be available at the cost of £59 and £34 respectively.

Notes to Editors

About FutureLearn

“Pioneering the best social learning experiences for everyone anywhere”

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a social learning platform, designed to support learning through conversation. It offers 5.2 million learners free online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, centres of research excellence and specialist education providers like the British Council, Creative Skillset and European Space Agency. FutureLearn is an international platform with over 75% of its users based outside of the UK.

About the University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16. More than 97% of research at The University of Nottingham is recognised internationally and it is 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues

For more information, please contact:

Niamh O’Grady, Senior Communications Manager, FutureLearn


Rachel MacPherson, PR Executive, FutureLearn


Charlotte Anscombe, The University of Nottingham Press Office

Email:, Phone +44 (0)115 74 84 417


Related stories on FutureLearn

FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now