Why Policy Matters
From climate change to global movements of people, today’s society is faced with problems that call for big solutions. Whether it involves government setting parameters for the way our society manages immigration, housing affordability or climate change - policy drives these changes.
With multi-layered issues and diverse stakeholders, policymakers in government bodies, non-government organisations and businesses alike are challenged to work collaboratively towards a shared vision.
Policymaking involves consensus building and compromise between powerful actors and interest groups. The difficult challenge for policymakers is to balance the interests of multiple stakeholders who exercise different levels of power.
One of the most important elements of policy is its ability to initiate constructive change within any given field.
The Hon. Verity Firth, Executive Director of the UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion explains: “Great policy does change the world. Really great ideas that are able to be translated into initiatives that can be implemented and embraced by a whole range of different players, change the world.”
Professor Robynne Quiggin, Professor of Indigenous Policy at the UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance also said:
“Policy is incredibly important, it sets out the guiding principles and the foundational ideas for legislation, for budget allocations, and it is the foundation from which actions flow, by government, by businesses often and NGOs.”
Working together to combat challenges
Through the shift in community expectations and confidence, and the shift in technology, policymakers are now faced with greater challenges than before. So, in response policy workers promote collaboration, partnerships and shared visions. Policymakers also need to follow through with implementation; applying policy is just as important as creating it in the first place.
Carol Mills, Director of Acus consulting said: “One of the great opportunities we have… is that we can make policy in a much more cooperative and collaborative way that ever before.”
“I think that policy is at its most valuable when it is applied. The challenge for us is to make sure that policy can be applied, that it doesn't just sit as something isolated from the community or isolated from being able to be implemented. It’s about how this policy makes a difference and that’s why applied policy is so important.”
Why study policy?
Studying policy is pivotal to attaining the right skills and training to tackle problem solving issues now and in the future.
The Hon. Verity Firth explains: “Policy is about problem solving, and problem solving with expertise, both in content and in implementation. I think it’s a really exciting area to be involved in, and I think it’s a set of skills that transfers a whole range of career options.“
Professor Roberta Ryan, Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Governance said, “What makes the UTS Master of Applied Policy unique is really reflected in the title. It’s a Master’s degree that is focused on students getting real skills that are going to be useful to them in their work. So it’s a Master, not of public policy, but of policy, and it is really about the link with the work the Institute does in bringing real life policy problems to the students in the classroom.”
Learn more about the UTS Master of Applied Policy
UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance
Tel: +61 2 9514 7884