- Course: MPA Public Administration
- Year of graduation: 2019
- Nationality: Chinese
Please tell us a bit about yourself, where you are from, your background etc?
I am from China. Before I came to study in UK, I have had seven years’ working experience in the local foreign affairs office of my city. My duties mainly include implementing national foreign policies in the local level, providing foreign affairs analysis to the city government, connecting our city with foreign countries in all aspects of economy, culture and sports, etc.
What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?
In the year of 2018, I had the chance to get the renowned Chevening Scholarship from the UK government to study for a one year Masters degree in the UK. I chose to study an MPA public administration because of my working experience in the government. I would like to learn more about the theories and knowledge on public administration so that I could apply what I have learned to my work in the future.
Before I applied, I compared the courses of the public administration among several universities including the University of Birmingham, the University of Exeter and UCL. What I found appealing about the course at the University of Leeds is that it perfectly combines the knowledge with the profession. The course not only include the major theories on public administration such as policy making and analysis, management skills, etc. but also set up unique modules such as the project lab which enables students to conduct field research with local governments. This is particularly useful for people like me who has already had several years’ working experience.
What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?
The course on public administration will prepare me to be a qualified worker in the public sector. Knowledge related to public policy making and analysis, effective decision and human resources management will enable me to make effective public policies and be a competent leader. Besides, the course is set in an international context. For example, the course on global governance is very helpful for me in my future work in the foreign affairs.
What do you think of your course so far – what aspects of the course have you enjoyed the most or are looking forward to the most?
I have learned a lot from the course so far, not only the knowledge, but more importantly the analyzing and presentation skills. Besides, I find it very inspiring to meet students from all over the world. There are students from UK, Europe, America, Africa and other Asian countries. Whatever topics we talk about in the classes, I get to know how people from other countries think about the issues. The professors are also very open minded, encouraging us to express our views freely and giving us useful feedback.
What would you say about the learning facilities in the School and at the University in general?
The learning facilities are very useful and convenient. The libraries are equipped with computers and studying areas that meet different needs of grouping discussion or silent studying. We can find most books we need from the libraries and there are also a lot of online resources. The sociology building is also very convenient for studying with well-equipped classrooms and self-studying areas.
How do you find the student support in the School?
The student support in the School is thoughtful and on time. No matter what kinds of problems students have, they can turn to the School for help from studying, disabilities, to personal problems such as insomnia and pressure. The School contacts us regularly by email to notify us of assistance that we can get.
What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself? (e.g. Clubs & Societies/activities in the School).
The extra-curricular activities in Leeds University are colorful. Personally, I have joined several trips organized by the LUU to go for walking in the mountain or seaside in the Yorkshire County. I am also very interested in clubs such as martial arts, dancing and sports although I didn’t join because of my limited time. But if you love something, you will definitely find a club that suits you.
What do you think about Leeds as a city?
Leeds as a city is very livable. It is a middle sized city of UK with lovely countryside nearby and a robust city life for young people to enjoy. From parks, museums to shopping centres and pubs, you can find everything you need here.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?
If you want to work in the public sector, especially in an international context, the course of MPA in the University of Leeds is definitely a good choice!
What do you plan to do once you’ve finished your course? What are you career aspirations?
I will go back to China to continue my work in the government as a Foreign Affairs Officer. In the future, I hope to have a higher level of platform for me to continue my work in the international relations areas such as an international organization.
Any other comment you would like to make?
The studying in Leeds University is the most memorable thing in my life, making me feel fulfilled with the knowledge and the colorful life every day. I hope all young people would have this experience in their lives.