It is exciting to be preparing to welcome the fifth cohort of students to the Cambridge MPP next week as we kick off another year. Being at this point in the development of public policy in Cambridge it is worth stopping and realising how far we have come and also to signal the developments that are ahead of us.
The programme for the MPP has developed every year, based on our experience in the classes but most importantly based on the feedback from our students. I had the chance to meet with alumni from our first cohort (2013 – 2014) this month and they were excited to see the changes and were more than happy to continue to give input on how we are structuring the course. Finding the balance between theory and practice, between in the room and independent work, between different policy areas – these are constant challenges but ones we believe we have made progress on, giving students the mix of theory and skills that they will need in their future careers in policy.
The faculty for the MPP has grown and we have welcomed our new Professor of Public Policy, Mike Kenny, to Cambridge this past June. Not content with one professor, we are coming to the end of the process to hire another professor in public policy, and combined with other hires this takes the direct faculty for the programme to five. This is supplemented with module leaders from other parts of the University and a broad community of researchers and scholars with a focus on policy, making for a very vibrant community.
The future holds much promise as we are developing and launching the new Institute for Public Policy at the start of 2018. This will allow us to bring together the teaching, research and practice of policy in one place and provide the structure to grow the MPP and public policy even further.
Looking back over the past five years it is incredibly exciting to see what were plans on paper become reality. Our ambition is to keep growing public policy at Cambridge and I believe we will make as much progress in the next five years as we have in the past five years.