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Masterclasses for our MPA students from prominent British institutions

Posted on 20 December 2016

High profile external speakers contribute to the CASPPER programme

Steve Kennedy

Our CASPPER MPA is a 21-month programme which brings together mid-career professionals from around the world to gain insight and experience in social and public policy, through a strongly international curriculum, and to be trained in advanced research skills. We are lucky to have some of the most prominent British Institutions feeding into this programme and bringing their expertise to focussed study days for our students. This term has seen speakers from:

  • HM Treasury - who included a discussion of career paths, recruitment, civil service performance management and competencies   
  • Government Digital Service in the Cabinet Office - who discussed the principles and good practice of digital delivery, including lessons and case study insights   
  • National Audit Office - whose speakers focused on accountability and public resources, and how value for money is being achieved in large-scale infrastructure projects

Extended Masterclass

This term also saw the students participating in an extended masterclass with a focus on behavioural economics within social and public policy. Behavioural science came to the fore in the UK when the Government started the ‘Behavioural Insights Team’ in the Cabinet Office which was known as the ‘Nudge Unit’. Their remit is to work to influence citizens to make better choices for themselves and for the benefit of society. The masterclass explored the emergence, theory, application and critiques of the behavioural science movement worldwide.

The final session involved CASPPER student presentations relating to their professional experience (pensions, taxation, corruption, employment, poverty, wellbeing, international development).  A roundtable with national policy partners is planned for 2017.

Beyond the University

CASPPER students continued to undertake outward facing activities - including regional and national conferences; specialist methods training; networking and knowledge exchange with other public sector professionals.

Looking ahead to 2017 there are masterclasses planned which will draw on the experience of local government, national government and also international bodies including the IMF, International Monetary Fund.

Prof Neil Lunt who directs the programme says:

'Recruiting high calibre and motivated professionals internationally is an essential ingredient of our MPA CASPPER.  The programme provides peer learning and professional networking opportunities around policy and its implementation.'

Find out more about the CASPPER programme.