Summer School 2017

Overview of previous editions of the UB School of Economics Summer School: 2014 | 2015 | 2016

The Economics of Education: Analysing the Effects of Programmes and Policies

3rd – 7th



The evaluation of public policies has emerged, in the last two decades, as one of the most active and innovative areas of research in Economics. Educational programmes and policies have received significant attention in this process. How can output quality be improved in the educational process? What specific inputs are relevant when educational quality is under scrutiny? A significant amount of high level research has been carried out in recent years around these questions.

The Summer School aims at providing students with a set of tools to address current challenges in the area of the analysis and evaluation of different elements of the educational system. These tools cover both theoretical and methodological issues at the knowledge frontier of this field of study (download the brochure).


Academic Coordinator for the 2017 edition: Jorge Calero (Universitat de Barcelona).

Sandra McNally (London School of Economics and University of Surrey)

Sandra McNally is a Professor of Economics at the University of Surrey. As the Director of the Education and Skills Programme as well as Director of the Centre for Vocational Education Research at the London School of Economics, she is leading several research projects within the Economics of Education, including an evaluation of programmes to improve reading at primary school and evaluating the impact of providing careers-related information to teenagers. Her fields of research include economic evaluation of government policies, effects of careers-related information on educational decisions and special educational needs.

Course I. Investing in human capital: why, what and how?

The course will look at human capital investment decisions. We will first consider why this is important from different angles before a detailed consideration of what works in schools. We will look at what evaluation studies have to say about the effectiveness of school expenditure/class size; teachers; pedagogical approaches and school autonomy. We will also look at general versus vocational education and the role of employers.


Lecture 1:  Why invest in human capital?
Lecture 2: What works in schools? Part 1 (school resources)
Lecture 3: What works in schools? Part 2 (pedagogy, teachers, management)
Lecture 4: Should school leaders have more autonomy?
Lecture 5: Should there be more vocational education?


Class schedule: July 3rd to 7th |  9:30h to 11:00h

Álvaro Choi de Mendizábal (Universitat de Barcelona)

Álvaro Choi de Mendizábal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics of the University of Barcelona and a researcher at the Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB). His fields of research are the Economics of Education and the evaluation of public policies. He has participated in the evaluation of a number of educational policies and is currently leading a project funded by the Ramón Areces Foundation which aims to identify effective policies for enhancing educational performance in Spain. He has worked intensively with international educational assessments and is an OECD’s Thomas J. Alexander fellow.

Course II: Analysis of Educational Policies using Large-Scale International Assessments

The aim of this course is to introduce the use of large-scale international assessments (LSIA) such as PISA, PIRLS or TIMSS for the analysis of educational policies. Participants will overview the applications (and limitations) of LSIA and understand some of the most relevant methodological issues needed to use these databases. Hands-on sessions will give participants the chance to get familiar with the Stata commands needed to start performing analyses of their own.


Lecture 1. LSIA: recent developments
Lecture 2. LSIA: applications for the analysis of educational policies
Lecture 3. LSIA: an introduction to methodological issues
Lecture 4 (Stata). Introduction to the analysis of LSIA databases. Computer session 1/2
Lecture 5 (Stata). Introduction to the analysis of LSIA databases. Computer session 2/2



> Knowledge of basic statistical concepts and regression models.

> Knowledge of Stata programming.


Class schedule: July 3rd to 7th |  11:30h to 13:00h



Applications are open until June 18th, 2017. Applications will be reviewed by the Summer School academic coordinator on a rolling basis throughout the entire application period. Resolutions will be notified by email. [Application Form] 


Tuition Fees


General fee Student fee
1 course (I or II) 400 eur 300 eur
2 courses (I and II) 600 eur 400 eur


Fees cover: coffee breaks, the welcome dinner, the farewell cocktail party, unlimited access to the UB Sports Centre and any material required for the course. They do not cover accommodation, transport or any other services.


Student fee eligibility: We will only consider you for the Student Reduced Fee if you are a full-time PhD or Master student enrolled at a university or college, or if you have just finished university or if you are starting university in the same year as the Summer School course. You will be asked to provide a proof of this status at the moment of the application.


Payments: Participants offered a place on the Summer School will receive an e-mail with (i) the admission letter and (ii) the payment instructions. Payments of the tuition fees are required to secure a place once offered. Payments must all be made no later than June 26th, 2017. 


Cancellation policy: All cancellations must be received in writing and sent in advance by email. Participants wishing to withdraw from the Summer School will have their tuition fees partially refunded according to the following policies: Prior to 15 days before the beginning of the course: full refund of the registration fee, less €100 of administrative costs.




Master and PhD students seeking financial aid may apply for one of the five scholarships available. Each scholarship covers the course(s) tuition fees. Applicants should add (i) a cover letter and (ii) a support letter from their supervisor or professor to the online application form.


Deadline for registration including scholarship application is June 1st, 2017. Applications will be reviewed by the Summer School academic coordinator. Priority will be given to those working on a clearly related topic. The list of awarded participants will be published by June 15th, 2017. [List of awarded candidates]


Tuition fees already paid by participants awarded with one of the scholarships will be reimbursed as soon as possible.


Attendance Certificates


Summer School courses at the UB School of Economics are accredited in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System and will be recognized by the University of Barcelona as 1 ECTS credits each.


ECTS – a common language for academic recognition: ECTS, the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, was developed by the European Commission in order to provide common procedures to guarantee academic recognition of studies abroad. It provides a way of measuring and comparing learning achievements and transferring them from one institution to another. This is achieved through the use of common ECTS credit units and a common ECTS grading scale.