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Evan Davis discusses education and the economy
EVAN DAVIS joined the presenting team of BBC Radio 4's flagship Today Programme in 2008, following a six-and-a-half year stint as the BBC's economics editor.
Evan also presents The Bottom Line, Radio 4's business discussion programme, the popular Dragons' Den series, and wrote and presented the Made in Britain series. Before his promotion to editor, Evan worked for BBC Two's Newsnight from 1997 to 2001 and as a general economics correspondent from 1993. He previously worked as an economist at the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the London Business School. Evan has won several awards, including the Work Foundation's Broadcast Journalist of the Year award in 1998, 2001 and 2003, and the Harold Wincott Business Broadcaster of the Year award in 2001 and 2005.
He has written and co-written several books, most notably Public Spending, and the Penguin dictionaries of economics and of business. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at St John's College, Oxford from 1981 to 1984 and obtained a Masters of Public Administration at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
What challenges does globalisation pose to Britain?
"A main challenge is how to broaden the base of our economy to a set of activities that give the UK a solid and unique role in the world. This will allow us to sustain the living standards to which we have become accustomed."
What are the opportunities for Britain from globalisation?
"What globalisation is doing is enriching a huge new market. Approximately half the world's population is in the market of emerging China and emerging India. Industries that the UK has specialised in over the last few decades, such as pharmaceuticals, advanced maufacturing and the creative industries, now have a hugely bigger market."
Does the education systemin Britain need to change in the coming decades?
"All sectors should always be asking themselves 'how do we raise our game and productivity'. Education should be doing that as well. There are a number of ways one would look to see the education sector developing. The first is it should be more ambitious and innovative. A big challenge is finding a balanced ecology. Whereby education provides a mixed economy of the most creative, most linguistic, most scientific and so on, and nurtures all these skills within one system. "
What are the essential attributes or skills that schools should engender in young people?
"The useful thing about teaching youngsters is not about the substance of the material, it's about igniting the interest, the ability to learn and develop the very basic skills that will be useful in their lives and whatever occupation they will have."
How can modern education help prepare children for change and uncertainty in Britain's future?
"Part of the skill that people need is flexibility. This is an important part of what education needs to equip people with. This is highly challenging, but a very important part of that is getting people to understand what and where in life they are most comfortable. Helping people to uncover what they are about. There are a myriad of passions within a classroom and it is very important for our schools to make sure that none of those passions lie undiscovered."