Director's Message


To our alumni and friends,


Based on public health guidance, UBC is planning a return to campus in September. This is welcome news for many, including first and second-year students who are eager to experience campus life and learn alongside others in lecture halls for the very first time.


It could be a distant memory for you now, but stepping onto campus for the first time is a feeling you may recall fondly; what a simple joy for this new crop of students to soon know the same feeling, butterflies and all.


In-person classes won’t be a complete return to normal – as safety plans remain in place – but it does get us one step closer to a more regular way of life for the UBC community. It will also be an opportunity for us to continue to adapt, to rethink the way our courses are taught and delivered, and how we come together to carry out our mission of research, teaching and learning.


In this month’s newsletter, the Vancouver School of Economics has much to celebrate. Our featured alumni, Diana Manzi and Andrea Wenham, have carved out fulfilling careers for themselves in consulting and in the public service. Current students Saaskhi Mehta and Anushka Gupta are making their mark in Co-Op and in academic competition. And our faculty’s work continues to have far-reaching impact.


Dr. Jesse Perla is this year’s winner of a coveted research prize from the Bank of Canada, and Dr. David Green’s work on the BC Basic Income Panel has sparked significant policy discussion across Canada. You’ll also learn about innovative research led by Dr. Munir Squires in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which I gave him a little help with.


Lastly, a reminder that spring graduation will take place virtually on June 2. For more information on how to celebrate with us, visit


Until next time,

Prof. Patrick Francois, VSE Director


Faculty News


VSE Professor wins 2021 Bank of Canada's Governor's Award


Dr. Jesse Perla, assistant professor at the VSE, is a macroeconomist whose interests include economic growth from the perspective of the firm, the role of information diffusion, and machine learning.

B.C. has better tools than universal basic income to create a more just society, report finds


The report, Covering All the Basics: Reforms For a More Just Society, found that a more successful strategy for creating a more just society would prioritize expansive reforms to current systems, administration, policies, and programs.

Electronic peer-to-peer banking & lending could expand access to finance for world's poor: UBC study


In a first-of-its-kind field experiment, economic researchers have combined peer-to-peer (P2P) banking and lending practices with mobile money networks for users to borrow and save money from one another electronically.


Alumni News


A career in legal & economic consulting: Diana Manzi (BA '15)


UBC alumna Diana Manzi says she found her passion for economics shortly after the Great Recession of 2007.

A career in the public service: Andrea Wenham (BA ’02, MA ’03)


UBC alumna Andrea Wenham is the Deputy Director for the B.C regional office at Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada where she works to understand and resolve the issues of regional stakeholders from the agriculture and agri-food sector.


Student News


Profile photo of Anushka Gupta

BIE student's winning team to represent UBC at World Challenge Challenge


Anushka Gupta, a third-year Bachelor of International Economics student, is part of the winning team at the World Challenge Challenge, a presentation competition where students tackle and propose solutions for global issues.

Saakshi Mehta thrives in multiple sector co-op gigs


Recent graduate Saakshi Mehta’s co-op journey was rooted in a curiosity for how decision-making works in different levels and sectors of the economy. She worked a variety of roles in the non-profit, public, and private sectors during her time in the Co-Op program.




Reforms For a More Just Society: A discussion with the BC Basic Income Panel

Earlier this year, the Centre for Innovative Data in Economics Research hosted a virtual webinar with the BC Basic Income Panel. For those who missed it, you can now view the event online.

Graduation at UBC


Celebrate the Class of 2021 at spring graduation ceremonies for both campuses on June 2, 2021.


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