News Details | 03-Mar-2013

NTU offers first-of-its-kind degree programme in Public Policy & Global Affairs

Interdisciplinary curriculum combines politics, international relations, public policy and public administration


Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will offer a new undergraduate degree programme in Public Policy and Global Affairs (PPGA) this year, to prepare students for career and leadership roles in government agencies, non-profit organisations and the private sector.
The first-of-its kind in Singapore, the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) programme offers a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that combines politics and international relations, public policy, and public administration. The programme, which will enrol its pioneer class of 55 students this August, will focus on two key areas for its teaching and research – global Asia and Asian regionalism, and public policy in science and technology, creating new niche areas for NTU.
The new programme also fills the gap of one of the disciplinary cores in social sciences to be offered by NTU, namely Political Science. Presently, through its School of Humanities and Social Sciences, seven social sciences majors are offered by NTU, that is Chinese, English, Economics, History, Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, Psychology and Sociology.
Prof Kam Chan Hin, Associate Provost in charge of Undergraduate Education at NTU said, “Asian countries are increasingly connected to other countries within and beyond the region. As they increasingly invest in science and technology to stay ahead in the global innovation race, science and technology policies assume rising dominance in the national politics of many countries.  However, critical issues like the rapid change in science and technology and irreversible impact of scientific and technological innovations can pose a challenge for society. 
“As a university with established strengths in science, engineering and public administration, NTU is well-placed to offer this new programme to meet the growing demand for such policy experts, especially in Asia. The course will offer students real-world learning and practice in public service, particularly on how to deal with such strategic challenges and international and public affairs as a whole.
“The course builds on the strengths of NTU's core disciplines in the Social Sciences and enhances the intellectual breadth of the University.  Besides providing rigorous training on the finer aspects of policy-making and global affairs, it will also imbue students with the critical values of leadership, integrity, life-long learning, exemplary character and professionalism,” said Prof Kam.
Throughout the four-year direct honours programme, students will be exposed to a broad variety of subjects, such as policy analysis, programme evaluation, public financial management, human resource management, and non-profit management. They will also receive professional training in political dynamics, international politics, comparative politics, comparative public administration, and global affairs.
Interdisciplinary courses will be taught by professors from different disciplines drawn from across the schools at NTU.
Prof Kam said, “Upon graduation, students will be ready to pursue a broad spectrum of rewarding careers in civil service administration, public management, policy analysis, journalism and research. They can also choose to become teachers, especially in social studies, history and China studies. I am pleased that several potential employers, including a few ministries, the Economic Development Board and IE Singapore have already expressed support for the programme.” 
Graduates from the programme will also be well-qualified to teach Social Studies, History and China Studies from the primary to junior college levels, meeting a growing demand in Singapore’s schools.
As the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) will be a major partner in teaching and research, graduates from the programme can also pursue further studies at the RSIS.
The Public Policy and Global Affairs programme will be driven by Prof He Baogang, who has established an international reputation as an authority on Chinese democratisation, non-government organisations and local governance, as well as in international relations and Asian Studies. Prof He had also served as an advisor to public and governmental organisations, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Danish International Development Agency.
NTU is no stranger to offering courses in public administration. Since launching the Master of Public Administration programme and undergraduate Minor in Public Administration at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2005, more than 1,000 government officials have graduated with an MPA degree and more than 2,700 students have completed courses in politics and public administration.
In 2007, the RSIS was established as an autonomous institute at NTU to provide graduate education in strategic and international affairs in the Asia Pacific region, and to conduct policy-relevant research in national security, defence and strategic studies, diplomacy and international relations.  The RSIS builds on NTU’s Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies that was earlier set up in July 1996 by Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence.
More information on the Public Policy and Global Affairs programme is available at:     

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Media contact:
Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687 
About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
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