Master of Public Policy, College of Public Policy, Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Getting a master’s degree was something my family and coworkers had been pushing me towards for a few years, but none of the programs available in Qatar initially matched my interests. When I learned about HBKU’s new program in Public Policy, I applied the same day, which also turned out to be the last day for applications. Being a mother of five children under the age of 10 years old, and having a full-time job, it was very important for me to be mindful of how I spent my time and energy. I needed to ensure I had a learning experience that was not overcome with stress and deadlines but instead provided relevant learning and empowerment. The Master in Public Policy aligned very well with my aspirations to be an agent of positive change for my community. I am very happy to have been given this opportunity at the time it was made available at HBKU. When I reflect on how my decision was made to start studying, it feels like it was meant to be and I am very grateful.
What I appreciated the most about our courses was the balance between theoretical and empirical examples that ignited really fruitful conversations during class with our professors and classmates. Because public policy is a multidisciplinary field, as students we were able to explore a multitude of careers and discuss, from different perspectives, the types of policymaking that could influence society positively. I do have a clearer vision for myself and where I hope to apply my problem-solving and policy design skills. Everything we learned during our courses felt relevant, which in turn made the learning experience very exciting.
Studying public policy amid a global pandemic. It has truly been a unique opportunity to learn about the importance of policy design while at the same time experiencing the effects of policies that were being rolled out to control COVID-19’s spread both locally and internationally. COVID-19 has had a tremendous influence on how sectors of the country operated. Changes in policies have driven this transformation and, as students, we were able to reflect and dissect these policy decisions as they were being made. This, in turn, really enhanced our experience and gave our cohort a special opportunity to expand our learning.