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‘Towards the end I didn’t want to stop’: living and learning online (part 3)

In the last of our ‘Living and learning online’ series, we spoke to Jamaican politician Colin Fagan MP about his experiences studying the Online Masters of Public Administration.

Colin wasn’t looking for a programme of study; the programme found him. A chance encounter with the INLOGOV lecturers at a conference in Botswana was what initially sparked his interest in the Online Masters of Public Administration.

“At that time I was Minister of State for Local Government. Even though I had years of practical experience, I thought the new information that the course was offering would do me well in my whole approach to local government. I would have a better appreciation of administration and what is necessary to make a better ministry.”

During the early stages of the programme, Colin faced a few practical challenges.

“I struggled initially, not knowing what to click on, what next to go on to, and so on. But I got the knack of it, with some help from my son and daughter.”

Recommended read: Rethinking public sector education: interview with Senior Teaching Fellow, Helen Hurford-Dawson

As well as participating in two internal leadership elections, Colin was actively campaigning in local and general elections during the span of the programme, which put immense pressure on his study time.

“It was really tough, especially the first year. By the second year, I was getting the knack of it and putting in more time. It was a new discipline I had to find.”

“After campaigning you’re just ready for a shower and bed,” Colin continued. “But I was determined not to have to extend the period of study. I tried to get Friday afternoons, and weekends and from 6 o’clock in the evenings. I had to make time.”

“The biggest challenge was getting in the information and finding the time to do the reading. Luckily I was able to draw on my experience.”

With a chuckle, Colin summed up his two and a half years on the Online Masters of Public Administration as “exciting but challenging.”

For Colin, the online video presentations were key to successful learning.

“The video presentations helped someone like me. By having someone explaining and talking to you it helped you understand what the lecturer was trying to put across. You could understand what was happening.”

Improved time management and content immersion left Colin wanting more when he completed the programme recently.

“At the end it left me looking for more to do! Although it started out really rough, towards the end I was enjoying it to the point where I didn’t want to stop.”

“All the courses were very useful. I found, for example, the Managing Information course was able to reinforce the importance of technology, how to use it to make a difference, and use it in a political environment. It was good for me and what I’m doing in public service as a politician.”

Colin’s top study tips:

  • Make the time wherever you can
  • Always be aware of the deadlines
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions

If you are interested in finding out more about our Online Masters of Public Administration – or any of our other online programmes – please fill out the request information form to download a brochure, or call our admissions team today.

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