Public policy commission releases interim report

Commission finds the public policy world to be rapidly changing   

After completing consultations with various stakeholders and conducting a broad overview of the landscape of public policy in Canada, the Principal’s Commission on the Future of Public Policy has released its interim report.

According to its mandate, the Commission — which was struck by Principal Woolf in September 2016 — was charged with “conduct[ing] a broad review to determine how Queen’s can modernize its approach to public policy to reflect changes in public policy-making and public service as well as new learning requirements for policy leaders.”

Released on May 5, the 33-page report reveals the findings of the commission’s research, which began in the fall of 2016.

The School of Policy Studies was created in 1987, and currently offers two masters programs, as well as a doctorate program in conjunction with the Faculty of Law.

The 10 members of the committee met with a number of leaders in public affairs across Canada, as well as members of the Queen’s community to discuss recent societal changes that affect the realm of public policy.

According to the report, stakeholders indicated that the public policy world is rapidly changing largely due to developments in digital technologies and an increasingly divided public interest, amongst other factors.

These stakeholders also identified an opportunity for institutions to respond to these trends and adjust their educational approaches accordingly.

The stakeholders suggested that Queen’s should expand the scope of practical learning opportunities, such as internships and practicums, as well as emphasizing continued professional development.

The report also recognizes the importance of obtaining foundational knowledge of public policy not only for those directly involved in the industry, but for all government officials and intermediaries.

Queen’s continues to face increased competition as more universities begin to develop their public policy curriculums. To address this, stakeholders emphasized the importance of differentiation and branding.

The report concludes with a list of 6 key questions for the commission to consider when producing their official recommendations.

The final report is due for completion by fall of this year, and will draw conclusions from the interim findings and produce recommendations for the School of Policy Studies going forward. 


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