As previous research highlights¹, whilst local governance and strategic public management may vary around the world, it seems that an increasing number of individuals seek to understand the variances each government adopts.
By examining the differences – and gaining a richer knowledge base – professionals working in local government can draw upon examples of best practice to help make a greater difference to the communities they serve.
At first glance, this might seem like a difficult task to achieve: how can you learn the in-depth strategies used to successfully manage economic growth in China from an office, for example, in Ghana?
Space to swap professional perspectives
The online learning environment used to deliver the 100% Online Masters of Public Administration is helping to overcome this issue. Students from more than 38 countries are networking with faculty and other students’ personal responses to situations found in their region. In addition, they also seek advice on challenges they currently face.
“The programme contains a diverse demographic but they find a lot of shared experiences. Discussion forums are important for sharing ideas, they are the foremost medium I use to bring degree content to life. Used constructively and creatively, they can be such an effective tool” (Nick Johnston, Senior Learning Designer).
Working collaboratively and sharing perspectives helps to create a collective learning experience amongst the cohort.
“It’s about people who can contribute to the programme and not just be ‘passive’ learners, becoming ‘one community’ at the University of Birmingham.” (Dr Philip Whiteman, Director, Online Masters of Public Administration).
Content that’s inclusive and accessible to all
The programme content also incorporates a range of viewpoints. We use real-world examples from communities around the world to make modules as directly applicable as possible.
“Being based in the UK, we’re familiar with the austerity which public services are working under and obviously some of the content references that. However, we are also very aware that many of our students come from other parts of the globe and so our content also focuses on international examples too” (Helen Hurford-Dawson, Senior Teaching Fellow, Online Masters of Public Administration).
Case studies drawn from different countries enable students to learn from a wide catchment and, while an immediate example may not be relevant to the service a student might be managing at the time, some of the techniques will transfer.
A global pool of public sector experience
Providing space for a conversation about differing public sector approaches is an important aspect of our Online Masters of Public Administration. Students can help to bring varying public policies, efficiencies and case studies to life for each other, revealing similarities and differences across systems that they can use to make a difference.
To find out more about this programme and its potential to help you to make a difference in your sphere, please download a brochure and a member of our admissions team will be in touch.
PODGER, A. & YAN, B. (2013) Public Administration in China and Australia: Different Worlds but Similar Challenges. Australian Journal of Public Administration [online] Available at: <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1467-8500.12023> [Accessed 19.06.2018]