Former MPC member Danny Blanchflower to weigh Scottish independence currency and central bank questions as he joins University of Glasgow

ECONOMIST and former Monetary Policy Committee member Danny Blanchflower has highlighted his intention to examine key issues in the Scottish independence debate, such as currency options, as he takes up a role at the University of Glasgow.

Mr Blanchflower, who will continue in his post at Dartmouth College in the US and visit Scotland regularly in his new role, said he was “excited” at the prospect of working with University of Glasgow principal Sir Anton Muscatelli.

The economist, formerly a visiting professor at the University of Stirling, said he would be looking at issues around independence such as what would be involved in creating a central bank and currency options. He cited options of joining the euro, retaining the pound, or forming a currency area union with the likes of Sweden and Iceland. Mr Blanchflower, who has three grandchildren in Scotland, said: “Whichever side you are on, you have to have an answer to that.”

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He also flagged the need to “make economics understandable and adaptable”. Mr Blanchflower, who is joining the economics department at the university’s Adam Smith Business School, said: “I am literally going to come to think about Scotland.”

Noting the Scottish Government’s relatively high popularity with the electorate and its decisions to make period products free and offer free university tuition for Scots, while also touching on the nation’s support for European Union membership, he added: “I think suddenly the attractiveness of Scotland has really jumped.”

Sir Anton said: “Danny comes with an unparalleled reputation and track record, and will be a fantastic addition. As we look to the post-Covid economic recovery, it has never been more important to have well-informed economic commentary and I’m very pleased that we will benefit from Professor Blanchflower’s expertise.”

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Sara Carter, vice-principal and head of the university’s college of social sciences, said: “The Adam Smith Business School is delighted to welcome Professor Danny Blanchflower as a visiting professor. Danny is internationally renowned for his expertise in economic policy and will bring that experience to the University of Glasgow.”

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The University of Glasgow said Mr Blanchflower is “renowned for his expertise in labour economics where he has made long lasting contributions in the understanding of unemployment, wages, jobs, health and happiness and pushing the boundaries of several disciplines”.

It noted that Mr Blanchflower, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, had been made a Commander of the British Empire in the Queen’s birthday honours list in June 2009, for “services to the Monetary Policy Committee and economics”.

Mr Blanchflower said: “I am very much looking forward to joining the economics department at the Adam Smith Business

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Times Higher Education Awards: University of Glasgow named University of the Year.

The University of Glasgow has been named Times Higher Education University of the Year, it has been announced.

Glasgow’s work to redress its historic links to slavery through a significant programme of reparative justice helped it to secure the prestigious at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2020.

The awards shine a spotlight on the exceptional achievements of individuals, teams and institutions working in Higher Education.

The judges hailed Glasgow as a “hugely deserving” University of the Year.

“At a time when universities are too often on the back foot in public debates about value and relevance, Glasgow stood out as a shining example of what a university should be: institutions of courage and action, uniquely placed to tackle the biggest issues facing the world,” they said.

“By taking a moral position and leading the way in facing up to the legacy of slavery and making amends, it has set the bar high both for itself and for all universities.”

READ MORE: Tackling slavery and empire in Glasgow Museums

As well as the University of the Year award, Glasgow was also shortlisted in the Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year category for its work to create a three-dimensional virtual reality classroom for students to understand complex molecular structures.

The news comes in a year when the University of Glasgow saw improvements in three major university rankings including The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, rising two places to 14th in the UK and remains 2nd in Scotland; The World University Rankings in which Glasgow moved up seven places to 92nd and the Guardian University Guide in which Glasgow rose two places to 12th in the UK.


Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “It is an enormous honour to be named as the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year for our work around historic slavery and reparative justice. I want to thank the judging panel and THE for their decision.

“We were the first UK university to recognise our historic links to slavery by researching our past and being open about all that we found. 

“For any institution, talking about historical links to slavery can be a difficult conversation but we felt it was a necessary and right one for our university to have. 

“For Glasgow, this initiative has had an immense impact on our institution today – in the way we teach, the way we think of ourselves and how we think about and interpret our history.

“Issues of race and racial justice are coming more to the fore in our society today not only in the UK but also more widely in the western world. So for me and the University of Glasgow, the work we are doing on reparative justice is also a platform for how we achieve racial justice, not just around our links to slavery but what it means today for a university that strives to move forward putting equality and justice at

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