It is amazing how quickly the first year of the Cambridge MPP has gone – our first cohort has moved on and are taking on policy challenges around the world. Now we face the challenge of our second year, hopefully not suffering from the “difficult second album” syndrome. This post is a brief reflection on our first year and our hopes for the second cohort of the Cambridge MPP.
The first thing to say is that our first cohort of students was great – a mix of countries, backgrounds and approaches to public policy. The class were outspoken, as we would want them to be, committed to their work and most importantly eager to have an impact on their policy area of interest. As well as working hard on their papers and placements, these students provided great feedback on our programme structure, content and approach, helping us to co-evolve the MPP and strengthen it considerably for our second year. Our thanks to our first cohort, we really appreciate their energy and commitment.
The second thing that struck us through the year was the diversity of issues that our students were dealing with. As part of the MPP our students have the opportunity to write two independent papers on policy issues of interest to them. We had everything from international security, to homelessness, and on to big data in social policy and the role of business in providing public goods. It is incredibly engaging to see the variety of issues our students grapple with on the course and we expect will continue to work on through their careers.
Finally for myself as the deputy director of the course and lecturer for a number of modules the overriding impression is one of energy and challenge. Our students come with experience, high expectations and a desire to really get into their policy areas. This kind of teaching and mentoring is very challenging but really rewarding. We as module leaders learn enormously through our students and I hope that we will be able to work with our alumni to support them personally and professionally as they develop their careers.
So overall, a fast, dense, exciting and challenging first year for us on the Cambridge MPP. Here’s hoping that our second year is as exciting for us and for our new cohort of students.