The students from the University’s School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law visited DEC as part of the School’s Public Policy Academy programme to take part in a series of workshops exploring the inner workings of policy-makers.
The visit was organised as part of National Parliament Week and the students, ranging from undergraduates to PhD students, took part in a series of interactive workshops led by civil servants from the campus.
Staff from the Department for Business and Trade, HM Treasury and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities were involved in leading these workshop sessions to better understand the reality behind some of the policy decisions they had been involved with.
Academics from the University, including Professor of Public Policy Matthew Cotton Senior Lecturer in Politics Dr Christopher Massey and Research Associate Dr Andrew Divers, also ran sessions looking at the theory of policy-making through a regional, national and international lens.
Michael Henson, the Teesside Taskforce Commissioner for the UK2070 Commission, and Dionne Lee, a Special Advisor to the Taskforce Programme, also explored what public policy is at a local, regional and international level with students.
The Public Policy Academy was launched last year as the result of an ongoing working relationship between the University and the UK 2070 Commission: an independent inquiry into urban and regional inequalities in the United Kingdom.
The innovative programme helps amplify the voices of students in public policy, engaging them in issues that impact their experiences and lives, and introducing them to a range of career options.
This kind of innovative collaboration is exactly what the [Darlington Economic Campus] is all about, and we look forward to much more to come.
The Public Policy Academy is organised through Teesside University’s ‘People and Place’ strategic theme, which is delivered through its School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law and works with communities, businesses and policy-makers to support the region’s transition to a shared, inclusive and prosperous future where everyone can fulfil their potential.
To date the academy has held sessions with local MPs, public policy-makers and representatives from the UK2070 Commission, giving students an opportunity to hear first-hand about how policy decisions are made and the circumstances that lead to them.
It is hoped that that this session with DEC is the start of an ongoing relationship and will lead to further sessions and collaboration with the University.
Professor Natasha Vall, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law, said: “We are delighted that students from our trailblazing Public Policy Academy are inaugurating this year’s activity with a full week of academic learning organised as part of National Parliament Week in collaboration with DEC.
“This will enrich their student experience and provide a valuable insight into the world of public policy and associated career opportunities.”
Jo Crellin, Director General at the Department for Business and Trade, said: “It is fantastic to have students from Teesside University come to the Darlington Economic Campus and get to hear from both academics and civil servants across multiple departments about what policy-making is like in theory and in practice.
“This kind of innovative collaboration is exactly what the campus is all about, and we look forward to much more to come.”