Overview

MPP is the first and only full-time program in Vietnam providing graduate education in American public policy, leadership, management, and public economics foundations, applied in the Vietnamese context.

General information about the degree

  • Name of degree: Master of Public Policy
  • The MPP is a Program in the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM). FSPPM is a School in the Fulbright University Vietnam
  • Mode of instruction: MPP is delivered by classroom instruction only
  • Credit hours required: 58
  • Length to complete degree (full-time): 2 years
  • Number of students annually enrolled: 50-75 on average
  • Student demographics: 50% women; 100% Vietnamese; Home region: Ho Chi Minh City 44%, Red River Delta, 14%, Coastal South Central, 11%, North Central, 10%, Central Highlands, 7%, Lower Mekong Delta, 14%.

The three organizing pillars of the Program…

Public Sector Economics: MPP takes a market-based approach for understanding, analyzing, formulating, and implementing public policies and assuming leadership and management roles in initiating efficient, effective, economical and equitable (4Es) public governance. It is essential for students to learn market principles, where Vietnam’s economy stood in the past and its status at present, and how it might or should evolve in the future.

Strategic Leadership and Management: MPP educates students to be more effective and efficient managers and leaders in making the best decisions possible for public governance and organizations and affecting much needed transformation. The MPP provides the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) necessary to assume responsible positions in government, business, and universities.

Communication: Faculty teach that the essence of public leadership and management is effectively articulating policy and communicating with a changing workforce and diverse public, often through the media, and especially on social media platforms; advocating and building support for public policies, decisions or alternatives presented in writing and orally.

Our MPP degree is designed to allow students to develop the core competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities) every graduate should possess as they take jobs in the public service and assume ever more responsible leadership and management positions. 

Following the model of excellent in teaching espoused by our accrediting body, NASPAA, our program prepares student

To lead and manage in public governance and organizations 

To participate in and contribute to the public policy process 

To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions 

To articulate and apply a public service perspective 

To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry 

To understand theoretical, intellectual, methodological, and practical foundations of public policy and management and as they apply globally and to Vietnam 

To demonstrate deep understanding of evolution from a planned economy to an advanced, market-based, globally integrated economy as a foundation for contemporary public policy analysis 

To demonstrate deep understanding of past efforts to reform Vietnam’s public service, how this affects reform efforts in the future

Students should note that the first five competencies are those which any graduate student in Public Policy and Management should master, regardless of the region of the globe they come from or the kind of organization—government, business or university—they intend to work for.

The last three competencies relate to learning how methods, theories, models, frameworks and knowledge generally can be applied in the Vietnamese context, especially as it relates to the country’s economic, public and social transition. Students will come to appreciate that Vietnam’s experience has much to contribute and to absorb from global learning. Our intent is for our graduates to make major contributions to learning.

A SAMPLING OF THE KINDS OF SKILLS YOU WILL LEARN

When you graduate from our Program, you will have the some of the following skills and abilities that will be useful in public service jobs in government, business, universities and non-governmental organizations. But you will also learn much more. 

Develop strategies for identifying, developing, nurturing and retaining emerging leaders in a public agency

Reflect and promote good leadership and management practices in organizations, and understand different leadership and management styles that may affect performance.

Develop a strategy for radically transforming an organization which is no longer fulfilling its functions.

Understand how the “ideal” of the policy process—problem analysis, policy analysis, recommendations, implementation and evaluation—works in practice.

Devise citizen-based strategies to help people participate in the policy process, especially at the municipal and provincial level.

Understand how the policy process fits into budgeting, legislating, regulatory, political (electoral), media news cycles and other processes.

Become proficient at reading, analyzing, criticizing, making sense of, and translating policy work in to plain English (or Vietnamese).

Show proficiency in designing, executing, analyzing and reporting social science research and policy analysis studies.

Develop policies to promote a more civil public sector workplace environment?

Explain why so many anti-corruption efforts in developing countries failed and how can they be improved?

Familiarity with performance-based management, reinventing government, new public administration, and other public sector reform efforts to improve government operations.

Know how to develop and sustain an ethics-driven organizational culture.

Develop policies, standards, or practices that would promote diversity and “inclusivity” in multicultural workplaces.

Prepare professional written documents—policy briefs, decision memos, executive summaries, policy analysis reports, legislation, regulations, and press releases.

Give professional oral public policy presentations—meetings, media events, hearings, citizen forma and conferences.

Understand the governance role of elected and politically appointed officials vis-à-vis the professional policy analysis and civil servant.

Know how to effectively and appropriately advocate in the public service.

Discuss the rise of evidence-based policy in the context of traditional social sciences research methodology

Recall the evolution of management thinking from the scientific management approach to the present

Show how the conception of the role of the civil servant in government changed over time?

Describe the socialist planned economy model and the socio-political, economic problems it created.

Describe Doi Moi policies of the 1980s and what policies worked, and which failed

Recount the major lessons learned in Vietnam’s economic regeneration of the past six decades.

Understand how recent Vietnamese civil service reforms initiatives faired.

Understand how recent civil service reforms in advanced economies relate to those in developing countries.

How Is Student Performance Outcomes Are Assessed

Nearly every course requires students to write short policy briefs (two to five pages) throughout a course. Each brief helps students refine their writing skills improve their confidence. Students may write their assignments in either Vietnamese or in English. Quantitative courses rely on traditional examinations for grading purposes.

Students can expect to present their work to their classmates every so often. This helps students develop their oral presentation skills. Students may present their work in either Vietnamese or in English.

Most classes include team projects where students work in small groups to define a problem, analyze it, develop recommendations. Team projects are intended to help students develop team building and management skills, as well as writing and presentation skills.

One course offers a simulation exercise in which students assume various roles in a policy debate.

A Thesis is required to graduate. Students may prepare theoretical, methodological or empirical works for the assignment. Student may use secondary data or develop their own data to prepare analysis. The Thesis is viewed as the culmination of the efforts students have put into their learning over the past two years of study. The Thesis is presented at a public forum which also is graded.

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Public policy education and research for Vietnam

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