Research Economics and Management

With our research we focus on the themes of labor markets, aging, sustainability, innovation, market governance, banking, financial markets, entrepreneurship, marketing, and consumer behavior.

Sunday T. Heagbetus

Sunday T. Heagbetus from Liberia is a Master’s student of Economics (Sustainability & Growth track). A Tilburg University scholarship enables him to study here.

"I want to contribute to helping underprivileged Liberians escape poverty by empowering them academically and economically.”

How did you come to study at Tilburg University?

Sunday T. Haegbetus

I completed my Bachelor’s program in Economics at the University of Liberia. As an orphan and an economically disadvantaged student, I had but few options to pursue a Master’s, so I worked as a volunteer peer advisor, a tutor, a high school teacher, and subsequently as a Research Assistant at the University of Liberia. The unique bilateral agreement between Tilburg University and the University of Liberia has afforded me this remarkable opportunity to study here on a scholarship. I am extremely grateful to the Tilburg University Fund for restoring hope and for enabling me to realize my dream. I will forever remain appreciative to the Tilburg alumni for their magnanimous gesture and for the lasting positive impact on my life.

Why did you choose the Economics MSc in Sustainability & Growth?

I realized that an MSc in Economics from Tilburg University gives graduates a competitive advantage in any career that requires sound economic knowledge, intuition, and sharp analytical skills. Additionally and most importantly, my homeland Liberia, whilst rich in mineral resources, remains underdeveloped and one of the poorest countries in the world with the majority of its people living in abject poverty and high levels of corruption continuing to impede growth. That is why an in-depth understanding of development economics and the methodologies involved in sustaining natural resources are of great importance to my country’s and my people’s economic prospects. I am now writing a thesis on the effects of the availability of natural resources on a country’s corruption levels. Understanding the mechanisms through which resource abundance could have an impact on corruption is important because corruption retards growth. Such understanding can aid economic actors in counteracting adverse effects, and this, in turn, can help the population escape the poverty trap and enhance their economic prosperity.

What do you think of your program?

I find the program highly intensive and competitive, and it is in line with my ambitions and aspirations. Given the knowledge I have acquired and the university’s profile, I am confident about finding the right career opportunities. Also, the program gives students the necessary theoretical and analytical background to utilize their full potential in their future careers. The professors are highly research-oriented and prominent in their fields. Yet, I find them surprisingly approachable and willing to help. Tilburg University has a well-known reputation for offering high-quality education, especially at the Tilburg School of Economics and Management. Coupled with an excellent infrastructure, the international orientation further augments a student’s experience here. Students are exposed to different nationalities and this allows them to share their rich cultural values and heritage. I find it all quite fascinating and I have embraced the program wholeheartedly.

What drives you?

I wish to join a community of such experts as research analysts, directors of research, consultants, policy advisors, and professors of economics who are already contributing to my country’s economic recovery drive. Besides, given the scarcity of PhD-level graduates in Liberia, I believe such a qualification will add value to my country and my home university. There is an urgent need for sound economic architects to formulate policies and properly manage Liberia’s resources in order to positively impact the lives of its population of  4.7 million. Understanding as I do both the textbook meaning and the reality of poverty, I want to contribute to helping underprivileged Liberians escape poverty by empowering them academically and economically.

See also the video interview with Sunday Heagbetus