Experiential Learning

Gain hands-on learning through our Global Policy Project, International Exchange Program, and other experiential opportunities.


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Global Policy Project

A defining element of UBC’s MPPGA curriculum is an intensive capstone project titled the Global Policy Project (GP2) (GPP 590), which provides opportunities for you to directly engage with key stakeholders including policy makers and civil society. This is your opportunity to be a policy entrepreneur. You work in a team and apply your creative thinking and analytical skills to a real-world policy challenge.

This year, students will deepen their insights on policy making in Canada, Peru, Ethiopia, The Netherlands, Mongolia, Singapore, Nepal and India.

GP2 is completed over the course of Year Two through a combination of lectures, Policy Studio sessions, and intensive stakeholder engagement. The project offers you an opportunity to apply methods and skills learned during the core courses taught during Year One. This includes policy research design, the strategic design process, and a variety of field research techniques.

You will also regularly participate in a Policy Studio component throughout Year 2 to work on your Project. The Policy Studio is a flexible, visual learning space with a focus on collaborative experiences where students, faculty, and clients co-design experiments that integrate creative thinking with scientific methods in problem identification and analysis.

  1. The MPPGA program identifies domestic and international clients through a rigorous selection process.
  2. You work for an assigned client in a team under the guidance of a faculty member to complete each step of the Project.
  3. Your client presents a specific policy challenge facing its organization, providing context to help you understand and define the problem.
  4. To engage key stakeholders, international projects require a field visit in December to the client’s location.
  5. Collaborating closely with your client and faculty in class and the field, your team analyzes the problem, gathers data, and works through possible solutions.
  6. You deliver a report and a policy brief to your client. You also present your findings and policy recommendations in symposium held at the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the end of Year Two.

Some Global Policy Project work is locally based while at other times it may involve national or international travel. The MPPGA program offers a Travel Grant to cover the travel costs up to a reasonable amount, as well as an allowance for accommodation, meals and incidental expenses during the field visit.

Additional project costs such as travel visa, vaccines and insurance are the responsibility of the students.

Students have the opportunity to rank their projects of choice prior to being placed on teams.

We define clients as organizations engaged in activities that are significantly impacted by public policies. GP2 is an opportunity for you to understand the relationship between key stakeholders in the policy-making process and policy impact. Typically, they are organizations that work for stakeholders whose welfare depends significantly on state resources or regulations.

Find a list of our 2018/2019 Global Policy Project clients below:

International Exchange Program

The UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs partners with premier public policy schools in Europe and Asia through an international student exchange program.

Currently, our second year MPPGA students have the opportunity to study internationally with the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin, Germany), Sciences Po School of Public Affairs (Paris, France) and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (Singapore). There are opportunities for you to go on exchange to other institutions as well.

Conferences and Competitions

The MPPGA program offers students various opportunities to participate in international conferences, business forums, policy case competitions, Global Public Policy Network meetings, and more. Build your policy expertise and networks by participating in these global policy discussions.

Over this past year, MPPGA students participated in high level discussions at forums and case competitions around the world.

  • Two students attended the 2019 Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) Conference held at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. The GPPN is an international network of Public Policy schools and serves as a platform for institutional partnership, research collaboration, and student exchange.
  • A MPPGA student was appointed as a VISION20 (V20) Fellow, joining V20 Founding Co-Chair, UBC Professor Yves Tiberghien and V20 Lead Fellow, Tommy Koh, at 2019 workshop “Beyond Neoliberalism in Emerging Markets” held at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.
  • Four students participated in the T20 Japan Inception Conference in Tokyo. The conference was held in preparation for the T20 Japan Summit in Osaka in 2019. The T20 is the parallel thinktank track to the annual G20 summit and seeks to harness the problem-solving capacity of the world’s leading thinktanks to solve the pressing challenge of the day.
  • Two students acted as UBC’s project leads at the 4th annual Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) Business Forum in Singapore, as part of an ongoing research collaboration examining the possibilities for an ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement with the Canada-ASEAN Business Council, the National University of Singapore, and the International Development Research Centre.
  • Four students tackled issues of forced migration and refugees at the 2019 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition held in Austin, Texas. The day-long event tested our students' skills on real-world data.
  • Four students developed a project, “Addressing the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen: Potential Policy Solutions for Canada,” for the 2019 Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA) Case Competition.
  • Four students represented the UBC team in the 2018 National Public Administration Case Competition, hosted by SFU and organized by the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration, in collaboration with the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.