Miri – 14 July 2011 – Public sector professionals including CEOs, directors and senior administrators of government departments, statutory bodies, local authorities, government-linked companies and non-governmental organisations, or those seeking positions in the public sector, may consider advancing their career prospects with a postgraduate qualification in policy sciences.
Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) provides the ideal career pathway for such individuals with the introduction of its new Master of Policy Sciences. The inaugural intake will commence September 2011 at the Centre for Modern Management (CMM) in Kuching.
The course is the first of its kind to be offered in Sarawak and is designed to meet the needs of local public sectors whilst retaining an international perspective. Initially developed at Curtin’s main campus in Perth, Western Australia, it was re-worked by academicians at both campuses and the state government to contextualise the contents to incorporate the Malaysian perspective.
Essentially, three levels of exit options are offered under the policy sciences programme: Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters. The programme is designed in a fashion which accommodates to the hectic work demands of working adults who may need to exit the programme for one reason or another.
The Graduate Certificate course runs for two semesters, the Graduate Diploma course for four semesters, and the Masters course six semesters. Students can opt to exit at either the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma level.
The programme’s introduction is in tandem with the government’s move to transform the public service in Malaysia. It allows students to acquire in-depth knowledge in the core areas of policy analysis and management in the public sector, and develop a framework which emphasises policy formulation, implementation and evaluation within the public sector.
The course is taught by teaching staff with extensive experience in policy sciences and offers considerable flexibility for students with part-time classes conducted on weekends with minimal interruption to work.
At the Graduate Certificate level, students examine aspects of the public sector such as public sector transformation, and public policy and strategy, as well as comparative policy sciences and law and administrative policies.
They will study state public policy and management, including the ideal types of state public policy and management, policy analysis and evaluation, policy and management complexity, change management, policy transfer and the future of the state.
In addition, they will explore policy analysis models, collection and analysis of data, implementation of policy instruments and service provision, allocating resources and assigning responsibilities.In the area of administrative policies, students will examine issues related to legal systems and sources of law; relationships by and between federal, state and local/municipal governments; administrative law including study on administrative power and limitations of administrative agencies’ exercise of powers and legal redress for those injured in the exercise of powers of administrative agencies.
They will furthermore explore the legal and moral dimensions of the Malaysian legal system, the principles of administrative and land law, and human rights and liberties.
Meanwhile, the Graduate Diploma level builds on the curriculum of the Graduate Certificate, where an exploration of public sector accounting, public sector marketing, case studies on public policy and human resources management will be embarked upon.
They will be provided with a broad knowledge of the structure, operations and reporting of the public sector and also of the area of non-profit entities. They will study theoretical and conceptual frameworks to develop a social marketing programme.
They will also examine differing case studies on both Australian and Malaysian civil service public policy and human resources management issues related to the needs of international and multinational enterprises.
The Masters level builds on the curriculum of the Graduate Diploma to incorporate studies in public sector economics, research methods and policy science dissertation.
Here, the students will have the opportunity to explore issues related to the public finance needs of government agencies. The course explores aspects of types of taxation and tax base, public sector expenditure and revenue, public sector borrowing and debt, cost and benefit analysis, privatisation and taxation issues. Differences between national and state debt and inter-government financials would also be considered.
At the Masters’ level students will be introduced to research, alternative research paradigms and philosophies, theoretical concepts relevant to business and social science research, positivist, phenomenological, and mixing methodologies, theory building, quantitative and qualitative approaches, school specific methodologies and research at Curtin.
Policy sciences dissertation is intended to demonstrate the student’s ability to understand and undertake research related to a topic of importance in the area of policy sciences.
Professionals who hold an appropriate Bachelors degree from a recognised tertiary institution are encouraged to apply and applications for recognition of prior learning can be considered on a case to case basis.
The conducting of Curtin courses at CMM is the result of a MoU signed between the two institutions on 22 January 2010 for the joint development and promotion of consultancy and training programmes in Sarawak.
In addition to the Master of Policy Sciences course, Curtin Sarawak and CMM also collaborate in delivering a Master of Science (Project Management) course at the centre, which is located at Km. 20, Jalan Kuching-Serian, Semenggok.
Top lecturers and professionals from Curtin University in Perth and Curtin Sarawak travel frequently to Kuching to conduct the courses.
Further benefits to students include a chance to build a global network of professional contacts, increased confidence and exposure to broader management issues, and of course, an internationally recognised qualification of high standard.
Postgraduate study at Curtin Sarawak is growing rapidly as the university gains wider recognition as a leading provider of business education in the region. Besides the Policy Sciences and Project Management courses, one can choose to complete a range of other postgraduate courses such Business (Master of Accounting) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by research.
A key factor attracting students worldwide to the university is its internationally-recognised Curtin qualifications, which are accredited by numerous international as well as national professional associations and governmental agencies, attesting to their quality and giving them much added value.
In addition, the quality of the teaching and learning environment, the application of up-to-date teaching and learning methodologies and technologies allow students to gain an exceptional learning experience.
Curtin Sarawak was established in 1999 as the first offshore campus of Western Australia’s Curtin University at the invitation of the Sarawak State Government, which recognised the need for a tertiary institution of international calibre to match Miri’s tremendous growth.
In a matter of 11 years since, Curtin Sarawak has become one of the leading international universities in Malaysia, attracting students from all over the world to its modern campus in the Resort City, Miri. Currently, there are some 3,000 students from over 40 other countries studying at Curtin Sarawak.
For more information on the Master of Policy Sciences course, call Alex Chung at +60 85 443 939 or e-mail [email protected] For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my.