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4 Universities tackling the issues of the modern world

The economy, healthcare, transportation, housing, education, the environment, energy, jobs — virtually every aspect of daily life is affected by Public Policy decisions at all levels of government activity.

As public problems grow increasingly complex, interconnected, global, and multi-generational, the people making influential policy decisions, and the evidence or criteria on which they are based, become incredibly important.

These challenges demand rigorous analysis, the capacity to weigh multiple and often equally compelling policy choices, and a subtle understanding of the strategies needed to turn policy choices into impact.

At a strange time in politics where ‘facts’ are fabricated and subjective, and analysis and data are manipulated and utilised out of context; Public Policy and an understanding of its impact is now more vital than before.

A degree in Public Policy, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, will prepare you to look at issues from a range of unique perspectives – economic, political science, sociology and research methods – equipping you with the knowledge needed to develop potential solutions.

Communication skills like writing and public speaking are also core aspects of Public Policy study, with courses allowing student ideas to formulate and be heard.

Future solutions to the world’s biggest problems must be rooted not just in policymaker’s opinions and values, but in a concrete understanding of social policy and social science. The agencies of government need data and analysis on which to build viable strategies, and politicians and leaders need this expertise to shape national and regional regimes.

Public Policy graduates are in the prime position to aid in this progress, guiding the hands of those in power and ensuring policies that are right for the people and the planet are the ones that ultimately succeed.

Here are 4 universities tackling the issues of the modern world…

CRAWFORD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY, THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

Considered the Asia-Pacific’s leading public policy institution, Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University is at the forefront of policy analysis and creation – ranking 8th in the world for social policy and administration.

Both staff and students at this prestigious School are integral to shaping policy in real-terms, playing a key role in the research behind many core governmental decisions. While the majority of their exemplary staff members are central figures on key policy advisory committees, students also take part in the action and have the chance to make valuable contributions to policy impacting the world’s biggest issues.

Crawford School has recently introduced new courses in public policy, specifically designed to prepare students to take expert and leadership roles in forming future policy.

The Master of Public Policy combines a mixture of theory and practice to build the analytical tools and knowledge needed for high-quality policy analysis, letting students specialise in a wealth of areas to instil them with the expertise needed for their chosen field of interest. These include public finance, social policy, global development policy, economic policy, health policy, foreign and defence policy, international policy, and indigenous policy, just to name a few.

If you’re a seasoned professional in policy looking for a boost in your career and expertise, the brand new Executive Master of Public Policy – the first of its kind in Australia – could be the perfect fit for you.

This one-year executive degree is designed and taught by world-class public policy scholars and aims to strengthen your capacity for effective executive leadership in government, private and not-for-profit sectors, ensuring graduates go on to exact the critical change needed in public life.

SOL PRICE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Founded in 1929, Sol Price is one of the oldest Schools of Public Policy in the United States and is often considered one of the best, ranking at number four for Public Affairs programs in the latest US News and World Report league table.

Sol Price aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities in the US and abroad, achieving this through education and research that promotes innovative solutions to society’s most critical issues.

The School offers a diverse range of graduate courses – supported by an expert faculty – all of which place a strong focus on preparing graduates to implement real change and be equipped to make an immediate impact upon entry to the workforce.

In addition to classroom learning, Price School let students get involved where it counts. Students on the Master of Public Policy degree engage with clients directly through a capstone Policy Analysis Practicum.

They can also take part in an International Lab – an experiential learning opportunity in which students integrate classroom knowledge with professional practice by providing policy-related consulting services outside the United States.

FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON

The Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy (SSPP) aims to make a positive contribution to human welfare, security and sustainability by giving their students the confidence and skills needed to embrace and shape change through connected and engaged research.

Ranked 21st in the world for Social Sciences, according to Times Higher Education, SSPP is split into a number of Schools that cover a diverse selection of subject areas, including the School of Education, Communication and Society, School of Global Affairs, School of Management and Business, School of Politics and Economics, and School of Security Studies.

Major emphasis is placed on the Faculty’s research and its impact on society. Many of the research staff advise governments, serve on commissions and public bodies and are seconded to national and international organisations. This firm knowledge base is available for students to learn, while the range of operating research groups means there’s something for all interests and passions.

To ensure this valuable research is put to good use, the Faculty employs the Policy Institute at King’s, seeking to translate thoughtful research into actionable policy. Recognising the immense economic and social benefits of innovative and research-informed policymaking, the Institute links insightful research with rapid, relevant policy analysis to stimulate debate, inform and shape policy agendas.

LEE KUAN YEW SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

Ranked best in Asia for the second year and 12th best in the world in the 2017 QS World University Rankings, quality education is guaranteed at the National University of Singapore.

Home to an abundance of research centres and institutes – including the Asia Competitiveness Institute, Centre for Asia and Globalisation, Institute for Policy Studies, and the Institute of Water Policy – the Lee Kuan Yew School (LKY) is committed to producing innovative and rigorous research that contributes to scholarly inquiry and Policy-making around the world, with particular expertise in China and Southeast Asia.

Due to a number of contributing factors like globalisation, domestic reforms, and ongoing changes in the international political and economic landscape; Asia is fast becoming a powerhouse on the global stage. Where better to learn the impacts of Public Policy than a region in major transition?

This international approach to Policy is reflected in the student body, of which international students make up around 80 percent. This is a deliberate move by the School to develop a classroom setting that is representative of the global environment.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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