CPP: Contributing to Effective Policy Development | HBKU
Hamad Bin Khalifa University


CPP: Contributing to Effective Policy Development of the Qatar National Vision 2030

16 Sep 2019

Qatari nationals make up majority of first cohort of flagship degree

CPP: Contributing to Effective Policy Development of the Qatar National Vision 2030

Please explain the objectives of the College of Public Policy at Hamad Bin Khalifa University.

The College of Public Policy (CPP) works within Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) with the main aim of supporting and contributing to effective policy development and implementation of the Qatar National Vision 2030. We are receiving our first batch of students this year and our focus will be to train them according to the highest standards in the field of public policy and introduce them to a multi-disciplinary education as we groom them to become effective policy-makers equipped to take on the contemporary challenges facing Qatar, the region, and the world. 

Our aim is for CPP to evolve as a center for discussion on policy issues and policy research. We have just embarked on our unique and exciting journey and as a ‘start-up,’ we are charged with energy and open to innovative ideas and experimentation. To help us in our mission of building the institution’s research capacity and engaging meaningfully with Qatar and the global community, we are joined by outstanding faculty members. I look forward to the growth of CPP as a leading public policy school in the region and globally, acting as a bridge and hub for innovative policy solutions that contribute to the public good. 

Tell us about the academic programs offered at the college.

CPP’s first program, beginning this year, is its flagship Master of Public Policy (MPP). A two-year program, the MPP combines the highest international standards in the field with a distinctive combination of interdisciplinarity, strong ethical foundations, entrepreneurship in public management and innovation in policy making and design. Students will develop a solid core of theoretical knowledge and can then avail of the opportunity to specialize either in social policy or in energy and environmental policy. The specializations are supported by advanced seminars and labs, which culminate in a team-based and client-driven capstone project that addresses a real-world problem. 

The program builds on the four pillars of public policy: politics, economics, public management ethics, and research methodology. It is designed to integrate analysis, research and practical application of knowledge, all from an interdisciplinary perspective. Other distinctive features include a strong focus on ethics in program design, and on real-world experience. The specializations will complement and deepen existing knowledge while encouraging students to work in various sectors to address current policy problems. The program’s ambition is to create thinkers who can do, and doers who can think.

How does the college’s vision align with that of Qatar Foundation’s? 

In line with the cornerstone of Qatar Foundation (QF) to unlock human potential, we bring a world-class education to Qatar’s doorstep to contribute to building the local education and research infrastructure along with the development of human capacity and community. At CPP, we are training the upcoming generation of policymakers who will be equipped to help Qatar tackle its most pressing challenges and successfully meet the objectives outlined by the Qatar National Vision 2030. 

Hence, we are effectively helping QF to empower people and shape our present and the future. Similarly, while preparing our brightest talent to tackle future challenges, we are also focused on achieving academic and research excellence by building and leveraging meaningful partnerships with local, regional, and international stakeholders that can effectively contribute to the development of the knowledge and research community in Qatar.  

What criteria do applicants have to meet to apply to the college? 

We seek applications from prospective students across the world who demonstrate high academic merit and potential, and a passion to implement their knowledge and skills for effective change. Applicants seeking admission to CPP should have a bachelor’s degree with a strong academic record from a recognized institution. We are looking for students with an academic background in politics, public administration, economics, and other social sciences.

We particularly value the perspectives that students with diverse academic backgrounds can bring to our institution and therefore potential applicants with an academic background in the natural sciences and related fields who seek to enhance their current specialization in a specific area of public policy or develop a new one are also encouraged to apply. Since the medium of instruction is English, applicants are required to have English-language proficiency.

What is the added value of the College of Public Policy’s programs?

While we are the latest addition to the list of colleges at HBKU, we reflect its long-standing commitment to develop capacity related to policy formation and implementation. 

Having a separate college dedicated to policy research and education reiterates and strengthens the importance that HBKU has placed on developing a high-quality public policy program for local as well as international students to train them in public policy and public management and administration. While this will ensure a steady supply of exceptional and talented policy experts to meet local needs and demonstrate potential to succeed in international organizations, it will also lead to the availability of a world-class entity for policy discussions and research along with contributing to the intellectual growth of our students and overall community development. We are being joined by talented faculty who are thought leaders in their fields, which will also help us develop as a leading research institution in the region and the world. Having a dedicated campus specializing in policy will also help us in forging mutually beneficial partnerships.

What is your mission as the founding dean of the college? 

As the founding dean of CPP, my mission is to help fulfil our aim of becoming one of the leading public policy schools in the region and the world, acting as a hub for innovative policy solutions that contribute to the public good. We can do this in various ways. One is to leverage and contribute to the efforts of our sister Colleges at HBKU. For example, the College of Law does work on regulation; the College of Islamic Studies has a program on global issues. There is an amazing research eco-system at HBKU and in Education City that we can connect to, draw inspiration from, and contribute to. Another feature of our College and its programs will be a strong focus on ethics in public policy development, implementation, and evaluation. In today’s world, students who will go into the public sector need to be aware of both the ethical debates that drive many policy issues, but also important ethical standards, for example integrity and human rights. 

How many faculty members and students will be joining the first cohort?

For our inaugural batch, we have 10 students, the majority being Qatari nationals and residents along with a few international students. The incoming cohort will be taught by seven exceptional faculty members, including staff and adjuncts, who will be bringing their teaching and professional experience to CPP.

Are you planning to forge any partnerships that are in line with the college’s mission and vision? 

Partnerships with local and international stakeholders will not only help us advance our objectives but will also help to put CPP on the map and contribute to local community development. For now, we are planning to actively work towards building partnerships in the government sector, and we will be reaching out to ministries and government entities in the fall to find out how we can support them either in training or research.

Please tell us about the facilities at the college. 

CPP is housed at the award-winning Minaretein building in Education City, where students have access to state-of-the-art classrooms, lecture halls and an auditorium. Moreover, students will also be able to use many of the dedicated areas for their private and group studies. The HBKU library is located in the same building and boasts an impressive collection of academic resources in print and digital format including journals, textbooks, and dissertations covering various disciplines. The library also provides students with photocopying, scanning and printing services along with computers with the latest professional and academic software.

Moreover, being a part of the wider Education City and HBKU community, our students can benefit from housing and student employment opportunities. Education City provides its students with the highest standard of living options on campus and its sports and recreational facilities ensure the overall well-being of students.