Degrees that make a difference: economics

 In this series we speak to international students who are aiming to improve lives and communities with their Macquarie degree.

With a head for numbers and limitless ambition, Arshana Rajadurai hopes her Macquarie degree will one day see her creating economic policy, not just reading about it.

The Sri Lankan says the recent Global Financial Crisis revealed a lack of understanding about modern financial markets.

“The crisis led economists to delve deeper into researching the financial architecture of the modern economy,” Arshana says. “It’s a field I would like to contribute to, and one day I’d like to help in formulate policies and macro-economic goals by working closely with the central banks of various countries.”

Arshana’s interest in economics began in high school, where she enthusiastically explored statistical modelling and modern economic theories.

“I was intrigued by the theories of supply and demand, and the rationale behind consumer choices,” she recalls. “The application of economics in everyday life decisions and its implications for the financial markets was something that greatly excited me.”

Arriving at Macquarie early this year to embark on a Bachelor of Economics, Arshana says she was immediately immersed in the melting pot of cultures that the University is famous for.

“Macquarie lets me stay true to my Sri Lankan roots while making new friends from diverse cultures,” she says.  “I really enjoy the variety of educational and extra-curricular activities that are available.”

“There is also a huge community of Sri Lankans living in Australia, so it’s quite easy for any Sri Lankan to thrive here.”

On particular highlight of Arshana’s time at Macquarie was being awarded a research grant and subsequently being employed as a research assistant to the Head of the Department of International Studies.

“I aided in editing articles and collating documents that were submitted to a prestigious journal,” she says. “I really enjoyed the work and it greatly developed my academic writing skills.”

Next month Arshana will be heading to Denmark for two weeks to learn about global economics at the prestigious Aarhus School of Business – one of Macquarie’s many short-term exchange program locations.

But its her time in Sydney that Arshana says has been the most ‘enlightening’.

“Australia is a land of innumerable opportunities for anyone who is willing to work hard,” she says. “In various ways I’ve been able to mould my character and grow into an independent, responsible adult.”


The Bachelor of Economics provides a solid understanding of modern economics, and is suitable for those looking for a rewarding career in business, finance, industry or government. An emphasis on applied economic skills allows you to meet the expectations of employers such as commercial and investment banks, economic consultancies, state and federal departments, and the Reserve Bank of Australia.