New Public Administration evening course off to a flying start
The introductory meeting of the new evening track Management and Consultancy (MSc Management Public Sector) was held on Thursday 3 February at Wijnhaven. Prof. dr. Frits van der Meer, in charge of the professional Public Administration master programme, welcomed the first cohort of students together with a number of teachers from the track.
Careers in the field of public administration
Most students have already started their careers, predominantly in or on behalf of the field of public administration, and are, for instance, working for municipalities, implementing organisations such as the tax authority or the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, higher education institutions, and consultancy firms. The aim of this track is to educate students to become academic professionals able to tackle the many and complex challenges current day public administration finds itself faced with. The students also received practical information with regards to the track and opportunities for additional challenges and support.
Former Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker provided an interactive guest lecture for the students. With evident pleasure, he invited the students to reflect on the challenges from their own work place, such as the lawful and effective use of the NPO budget, the benefits affair, housing of asylum seekers, and influencing behaviour of citizens as government by setting a good example.
He made use of his own experiences as former minister and provided several examples from his own policy domains throughout his lecture. The tension field between political and administrative relations provided much topic for discussion. To which conditions does good policy advice need to adhere? Which policy instruments are at the disposal of civil servants to meet the policy objectives that have been set? Dekker emphasised the importance of a good in-depth debate with his policy advisors to enable him to weigh the pros and cons and their respective interests in order to come to a well-informed decision as minister. But happens when you, as policy advisor, do not agree with this decision? How much leeway for opposition is there within the discussion?