Next gen leaders tackle urgent global issues in UBC's new Master of Public Policy program
Climate change, food security, refugee crises, inequality, and security threats are complex and ever-changing issues that demand innovative, equitable policy solutions.
UBC’s two-year, professional program Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) is designed to provide students from various academic backgrounds with a multi and interdisciplinary policy foundation plus expert knowledge in development and social change, sustainability, and governance on a global scale.
The degree prepares students with skills to apply their new knowledge to help make a difference in the world, something that appealed to student Kiran Alwani.
Kiran was born and raised in Pakistan and obtained a degree in Management Sciences. Her experience with Pakistan’s public education system, and the country’s educational crisis, ignited her desire to pursue a career to drive positive change.
Her enthusiasm is palpable: “I’m interested in taking on some of the world’s most pressing concerns, such as poverty and inequity, through a global policy lens” she says. This includes restructuring international policies to stabilize economies in developing countries and promoting growth that benefits all.
Kirin Alwani. Photo courtesy UBC's Master of Public Policy.
Today’s interconnected world demands a global perspective. Speaking about the growing need for a new kind of policy education that ‘goes global’, UBC Professor and MPPGA Co-Director Yves Tiberghien suggests that “domestic, global, economics, science, social issues, stakeholders, social engagement, communication – it’s all intertwined."
Students need intercultural competency to understand how issues in different countries are treated differently because of their contexts. The MPPGA program is infused with case studies from Asia.
Since more than half of the world’s population is from this region, it is important to understand the Asian context. Also, UBC is home to some of the world’s leading experts on Asia governance, security, history, economics, and politics.
In the UBC Program, policy students learn through case studies – beginning with foundational skills in economics, measurement and evaluation, then taking on real world issues. Graduates will have the expertise needed to tackle complex challenges from energy to global governance to democracy issues around social change.
Another student, Raphaël Roman from Switzerland, has a Bachelor of Economics and is keen to “foster awareness and positive change towards environmental and economic questions that our global community is facing.”
Raphael Roman. Photo courtesy UBC's Master of Public Policy.
He looks forward to his second year in the program, where he will be able to choose from three different specializations, including Development and Social Change; Resources, Energy and Sustainability; and Global Governance and Security.
The curriculum is designed to emphasize the many aspects of being a professional in a policy-making environment: comprehensive knowledge, assessment of alternatives, and collaborative problem-solving.
Speaking to the program’s focus on applied learning, UBC Professor and MPPGA Co-Director Moura Quayle believes that “part of what sets the program apart is a focus on “pracademics” – the concept of learning by doing.
The classroom is a professional setting, in which students are required to collaborate in much the same way as they would with future colleagues as part of a team.”
Throughout their learning, students network with leading policy professionals from around the world. In the second year of the program, students work in teams with real-world clients in a Global Policy Project.
This year’s team of students will work with Canada’s Central Innovation Hub in the Privy Council Office of the Government of Canada, an office that is an innovation catalyst addressing policy challenges.
Part of what sets the program apart is a focus on “pracademics” – the concept of learning by doing.
Once they have completed the program, graduates are fluent in various environments, whether locally, nationally or internationally. We know that employers are seeking highly skilled, flexible, globally minded policy practitioners to help resolve complex issues.
Opportunities for graduates are vast: they will step into roles as strategists, senior public policy officers, market analysts, and directors of communications in different eco-systems, including government, global NGOs, the United Nations, inter-governmental agencies, and major industry players.
Those who have a desire for social change and want to ensure that opportunities on this planet are available for generations to come are the perfect candidates for this degree.
The deadline to apply for 2016 is January 26, 2016. Learn more on the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs website.