Member of Parliament for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter, welcomed a group of students from the University of Suffolk to Westminster on Wednesday 29 March.
Although planned for some time, the staff and tutors made the trip from Suffolk to London on one of Parliament’s busiest days – not only did their visit coincide with Prime Minister’s Questions, but there was certainly an added buzz around the Houses of Parliament ahead of the triggering of Article 50.
The group of students enjoyed a tour of the Houses of Parliament where they learned about the history and heritage of the buildings, but also more about the role of our democracy and the passing of legislation.
The students had previously visited Dr Poulter’s office in October last year as part of the University’s week-long Business Fair which allows the students to discover the diversity of businesses and opportunities in Suffolk. Following that visit, an invitation to visit Parliament was extended and Dr Poulter was delighted meet the students at the end of their tour for a Question and Answer session.
On meeting the group, it was apparent that they had enjoyed their tour of Parliament very much and they were all too keen to get the Q&A session underway. They asked a number of questions on both local and national issues, and it goes without saying that the topic of Brexit featured highly, particularly in relation to local impact. Aside from the politics of the day, there was much discussion around fiscal policy, agricultural matters, food labelling and public health policy. As part of the discussion Dr Poulter was happy to share his experiences of balancing work as an MP with that of being a part-time NHS doctor.
Commenting on the visit Dr Dan Poulter said “I was delighted to welcome the students from the University of Suffolk to Westminster; a visit to Parliament is always an exciting experience, but to be here on the historic day when Article 50 was triggered is surely something that the students will all be able to recount in later years. “
Dr Poulter went on to say “Visits such as these help to strengthen the link between what I do as an MP locally and what I do here in Parliament. It was a pleasure to meet the students today and I very much enjoyed the wide and varied questions which they put to me following their tour.”
After previously spending time in seminars and private research, leading to an assignment on the forthcoming Sugar Tax Levy, students had the opportunity of discussing this fiscal policy with Dr Dan Poulter, MP who is an expert in the healthcare field.
Jonathan Harvey, Lecturer in Tourism, Events and Management said “By providing students with the opportunities of discussing fiscal policy with those who are actually setting it, really brings the learning to life as students saw how theory and practice worked in real life situations”.
With a visit on the same day to the Bank of England, understanding of monetary policy was developed with the opportunity to ask and debate.
Jonathan adds “It was a very positive day with students being clearly engaged in a new way, and they displayed a professional approach throughout the day as ambassadors of University of Suffolk. This type of interaction is something that we look to continue to build upon.”
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