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東京大学公共政策大学院 | GraSPP / Graduate School of Public Policy | The university of Tokyo

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Information of LKY SPP

岩田周子 (from Japan)

1. About LKYSPP

LKYSPP has relatively small number of students (around 80 students per batch) meaning students can easily get to know each other. Students are mainly from Singapore, India, China and other ASEAN countries. Aside from the MPP course, there is the MPA course (Master in Public Administration, average age 30-40) and the MPM course (Master in Public Management, average age 40-50) with students from different courses often having lessons together. Most of the students work for government, international organizations and media, meaning discussion on public policy is highly productive, as students can learn from each other.

LKYSPP particularly focuses on Economics, so it is a great place to learn if you are interested in the Asian economy. The school operates a practical over theoretical approach.

2. Classes

Because each class has 4 hours for lectures, Students can take up to 5 classes. I would like to introduce my 3 top favorite classes.

  1. Evolving Practices of Governance in Singapore:
    In this class, we learn the Singaporean way of governance and issues they have resulting from governing principals such as meritocracy and pragmatism. This class was taught by one former and one current Singaporean bureaucrat, so they share an interesting insight into problems they are facing. Despite their strong Singaporean accent, it is one of the classes that I strongly recommend taking!
  2. Economic Growth in Developing Asia:
    In this class, we analyze qualitatively and quantitatively the Asian economy using growth theory and other economic frameworks. One of the highlights of this class was there are many students who are actually engaged in implementation of development plans in their own countries so discussing with them gives us deeper insights on the realities of implementation.
  3. International Economic Policy:
    This class was about International economic regimes. Mainly focusing on Economic crisis and how we can prevent them, this class is taught by a teacher who was working for the IMF for 25 years so I could learn and challenge the IMF view.

3. Life in Singapore

Almost all students stay in a dorm near the campus (15 minutes walk) so we enjoy Parties, BBQs and all night group work! We share one house with 4 people but each person gets their own individual room. There are many geckos, so you can learn how to deal with them.

Singapore is a clean and well organized city. We can enjoy Malay, Indian and Chinese Culture at the same time. It is located close to other ASEAN countries so it is easy to go there and see those economies with your own eyes. LKYSPP has a unique schedule such as e-learning week (a week which has to give lectures online) and recess week (a week you don’t have any class but have a number of assignments!) so it is easy to travel around.

4. Advice to those who are going to LKYSPP

Study basic statistics and econometrics
Because they have good economics courses, it is better to have some knowledge of statistics and econometrics to have a greater choice of classes.

Bring long sleeves
I recommend to prepare for the cold because inside the library and classrooms, it is freezing! It was my saddest moment to buy a long sleeved jacket in UNIQLO in Singapore, where prices are much higher than in Japan!