This year, the Economics Olympiad attracted once again the interest of more than 10,000 young Slovaks and helped them to gain appreciation and recognition for their knowledge and skills in the fields of economics and finance. The sixth year of the Economics Olympiad for high-school students was concluded with the finals, which took place on Thursday, 4th May 2023 at the Hotel Devín in Bratislava.
The Economics Olympiad helps young people to expand their knowledge of economics and finance and improve their analytical skills. The Olympiad also provides valuable feedback to teachers on their students’ knowledge. The Economics Olympiad in Slovakia is organised by INESS – Institute of Economic and Social Studies in cooperation with the Czech Institute of Economic Education (INEV).
This year, 10,120 students tested their knowledge in the Economics Olympiad in online school rounds, out of which, only 540 qualified for the eight on-site regional rounds. The top 50 students from all over Slovakia participated in the national finals.
The national finals’ test was focused on current economic issues. Students had to argue on how the increase in weekend parking prices during the summer season in the Tatras can affect the demand for parking, how tariffs on grain imports from Ukraine affect the welfare of consumers, producers and the state, or to calculate the profit and cash flow of a supermarket chain.
Teachers from the University of Economics in Bratislava and the Faculty of Management of Comenius University helped to evaluate the tests. The top ten students qualified for the oral examination, in which they were defending their answers to the drawn question in front of an expert jury. Its members were experts from academia, private and non-profit sector: Martin Vlachynský (INESS), Jarko Fidrmuc (Slovak Economic Society), Štefan Máj (Slovenská sporiteľňa Foundation), Iveta Szabo (Slovak Association of Insurance Companies) and Martin Šuster (Council for Budget Responsibility).
Monika Budzák, Director of the Economics Olympiad in Slovakia: “The national finals is the most interesting event of the Economics Olympiad every year. It allows us to gain a detailed view on the future of Slovak economics and to connect promising young talents with experts from whom they can draw inspiration. We are delighted that schools are interested in this competition and that we are also involving schools where the teaching of economics has only minimal coverage.”
The final day also brought lectures and discussions for the students and their teachers as part of the accompanying program. INESS analyst Róbert Chovanculiak prepared a lecture for the teachers called “Why Artificial Intelligence Will Not Replace Teachers”, and the students, after completing the test, discussed with Radovan Ďurana (INESS analyst) and Róbert Prega (Chief Economist at Tatra Banka), why Slovakia is still economically lagging behind the Czech Republic.
After the final evaluation in the oral exam, the jury determined the final ranking of all ten super finalists of the Economics Olympiad. The third place went to Filip Poláčik from the Grammar school Metodova in Bratislava, the second place went to Martin Kips from the Grammar school Grösslingova in Bratislava and the absolute winner of the sixth year of the Economics Olympiad was Samuel Jurčišin from the Jur Hronec grammar school in Bratislava.
The organizers, project partners and members of the expert jury congratulated and awarded prizes to the finalists. Thanks to the sponsors, the most successful three finalists can enjoy valuable prizes such as an e-book reader, a mobile phone and a laptop.
“I enjoyed this year’s Economics Olympiad very much. It helped me to identify my economic shortcomings and to show me fields in which I can improve. At the same time, I gained a lot of new knowledge and information, either in the actual preparation for the Olympiad or at the conferences today. I hope that this Olympiad will continue to motivate young people to learn economics and to be active in it in the future. Thank you.”- said one of the competitors in the anonymous evaluation questionnaire.
For support of the Economics Olympiad in the school year 2022/2023 we would like to thank: the Slovak Banking Association, Slovak Association of Insurane Companies, Slovenská sporiteľňa Foundation, Tatra Banka Foundation, Martinus, ABCedu, Nexteria, Zones, Trend weekly, Slovak Economic Association, Institute of Economic Education (INEV), University of Economics in Bratislava, Faculty of Management of Comenius University, Faculty of Social Sciences of University of St. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Faculty of Social and Economic Relations of Alexander Dubček University in Trenčín, Faculty of Economics and Management of Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Economics of Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and Communications of University of Žilina, Faculty of Management, Economics and Trade of University of Prešov and Faculty of Economics of Technical University in Košice.
Translated by: Katarína Ševčíková