This September, the Master’s of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) program will debut at UBC.
The two-year professional program is intended to equip students with the knowledge and experience to address policy challenges, according to the program’s co-director and Liu Institute director, Moura Quayle. According to Quayle’s co-director and director of the Institute of Asian Research, Professor Yves Tiberghien, there has been a push for the program for close to a decade.
“There has been an effort to build a public policy school at UBC for 10 years,” said Tiberghien. “There were three committees, led by different personalities, over 10 years that were tasked to create a program.”
Part of the course requirements is the Capstone project, a six-credit course that allows students to work with clients from non-governmental organizations, private sector companies and national governments.
“We are hoping that [our students] are eventually going to go into a whole range of senior leadership positions,” said Quayle. “We are thinking that, partly by interacting through the Capstone with high profile senior policy leaders, they are going to build that kind of global network that gives their career opportunities a real boost.”
Quayle said that initiatives like the Capstone make the program “high touch,” but it is more an issue of the market rates for a professional masters program that brings the tuition for the program to $21,500.
"[Tuition] was really benchmarked on the tuition at Munk School in Toronto, with the one caveat that in B.C. you set the tuition and… you can’t change it for, say, the next 20 years," said Tiberghien. "What you have to do is set something that’s maybe a little higher than what you need today but then in the short term you’re able to have fellowships."
According to Quayle, often a master’s of public policy has been a separate program from a master’s of global affairs.
“There has been a demand building over a period of time for us to use UBC’s strengths to build a very special public policy program,” said Quayle. “So, there seemed like there was this opportunity to say well, we have got the demand for the program.”
In their second year, students will choose from three different specializations, including Development and Social Change, Resources, Energy and Sustainability, and Global Governance and Security.
40 graduate students are expected to join the program next fall.