Located to the west of Lafayette Square, George Washington University (GWU) was founded in 1821 in downtown Washington. As of 2019, it hosts 26,000 students from over 119 countries, and is ranked #55 nationwide for overall US universities by The Times Higher Education.
Being just down the road from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the State Department, GWU students are exposed constantly to the economic world and global business movements. “Most US business schools don’t really have much about international business,” says Robert Weiner, a professor at GWU's School of Business. “They’re very focused on functions like finance and marketing. Because of our location [GWU has] a huge interest in international issues.”
With this interest in global issues being a substantial part of students’ studies at GWU, the pairing was natural with the Financial Times’ international coverage and insights. Liesl Riddle, the associate dean of graduate programs at GWU agrees: “I think reading the FT, because it presents diverse perspectives from all around the world, helps really inform your global perspective.
GWU’s partnership with the FT
GWU and the FT have been partnered since 2012, and the FT has been a staple in students’ studies ever since. In the business school, in lessons and seminars in politics, economics and business roleplays, the FT’s non-partisan and in-depth exploration into real-world scenarios has allowed the students to focus their efforts into boosting their knowledge and business acumen, to apply it to today’s changing landscape.
“Our goal as educators is to make that link between scholarship and the real world for our students, and the Financial Times is our vehicle for doing that,” Riddle says. But it’s not just the students who have found that the FT has aided them.
Bonnie Pierce, a visiting professor of international business has been reading the FT for over twenty years. “I was first introduced to the Financial Times when I was in college. I read it every day, and I think it’s important that I recommend my students to read it.”
What does the FT do for GWU’s lecturers?
The professors at GWU have found it very simple to integrate the FT’s tools and analysis into their teachings, from economics analysis to business studies. “In some classes, they’re tracking currencies. In another class, they’d be using it as background research for a research paper,” says Riddle. With the inclusion of the FT into teaching plans, it offers an enhancement by applying real world events to the conversations being had in class.
It’s not just research information that can help the lecturers in the classroom, however. “I use a number of learning tools with the Financial Times,” Bonnie Pierce says. “I will use market data tools, Portfolio tools, and I’ll use myFT as well as virtual reading lists.”
With the FT’s market data information, students can explore current market growth and loss internationally and across all sectors, and delve into equity indices, currency fluctuations and bond yields. Pierce utilises this regularly: “In all of my classes, I show students the currency tab so that they can look up rates, they could look at the rates historically to understand how changes in foreign currency is affecting a company’s bottom line revenue and ultimately their profitability.”
Similarly, FT Portfolio allows users to add multiple stocks to their own virtual portfolio, to monitor potential returns, unrealised gains and losses, and to be aware of any market movers.
Virtual reading lists can be created through myFT, which allows a professor to add a recent news or analysis piece to a list for their students to read. “I can instantly add it to my virtual reading list, they will get a message, and it will populate so they know that they need to read it too,” says Pierce.
What does the FT do for GWU’s students?
It’s not just teachers and professors that value the tools at their disposal from the FT. Students at GWU have also voiced their happiness at the availability of these resources, and the benefits they have to their studies.
Luis Otero, an undergraduate student at GWU is just one of the many students using the FT on a day-to-day basis. “One of the things I really appreciate about the Financial Times is its ability to disseminate news in such a way that, as a student, I was able to see the macroeconomic implications of its stories, to what I was learning in class.” This ability to attach real world consequence to theory and study is extremely valuable to students, and Otero wants to apply this to his business degree moving forward.
“Having the understanding of what’s going on in the world is fundamentally important as a business student, because everything that goes on abroad affects me,” he says. This mirrors the thoughts of his professors too: Weiner’s thoughts are “if you’re going to teach the students from a world perspective, you need a world newspaper.”
You can watch the full case study video of how George Washington University is using its subscription with the FT here.
Join Otero and the other students at GWU with access to the FT, and gain the insights that matter to the world around you. As Otero says: “with what I’ve learned here, I think I’ll be a lifelong Financial Times reader.”