Why to pursue PA and governance degree?
PUBLIC Administration (PA) is a key to run government functions and to face contemporary societal challenges effectively.
It is a specialized subject of study enabling it to work as an essential instrument of governments.
The profession of Public Administration holds significance in development, change and modern welfare states.
Successes and failures of a country may, inter alia, predicate upon how its Public Administration is functioning. As such, Public Administration is a precursor for good governance.
Public Administration is a key tool for promoting economic growth and ensuring that its fruits are shared among all citizens.
Additionally, it is a tool for restoring trust in government and public institutions, as well as in the banks, enterprises and rating agencies.
Presently, there exists a crisis of trust among governments and public in the world community; and restoring trust depends on the quality of Public Administration.
Every country endeavours to establish innovative and technically capable administrative set ups of effective governance to serve the public.
Like the rest of the world, it is imperative for Pakistan to place effective and sound Public Administration in the country, especially to utilize its resources.
The country of over 220 million population possesses diversity and richness of natural and human resources.
Just after the creation of Pakistan, the importance of Public Administration education was recognized in order to produce sophisticated administrative machinery for fixation of public challenges in the country. In the 1960s, Pakistan established various Public Administration education and training institutions.
For instance, the Department of Public Administration at Punjab University, the Civil Service of Pakistan Academy and National Institute of Public Administration in Lahore are some of the earlier Public Administration institutions in the country.
Notwithstanding a few initial efforts to promote Public Administration education in Pakistan, it is yet to establish capable and impactful Public Administration institutions in the country.
Pakistan is yet to fully utilize the potential of its existing natural and human resources due to weak institutional and administrative structure in the country.
It is, therefore, important to place best training and teaching Public Administration institutions and universities where creative and solution-oriented minds could be produced to contribute diligently in public institutions and to run the governance system of the country.
Universities in Pakistan are autonomous bodies and they have a great role to play for establishing knowledge economy and better governance systems by preparing the young generation.
The leading education institutions around the world consider their responsibilities to equip their generation with sophisticated mechanisms and tools, problem solving techniques with practical skills, and strategic thinking to face the upcoming issues, and promote sustainable governance systems.
It is, therefore, imperative that Pakistani universities may come forward and play their due role in setting a platform for right drive towards effective governance through imparting quality Public Administration education.
The University of Haripur (UOH) yet again took another lead by launching a new program in Public Administration and Governance at graduate level considering the demand and significance of governance professionals in the country. It is an inter-disciplinary degree encompassing several academic disciplines.
The program aims to strengthen the skills and knowledge base of students and prepare them for successful careers through rigorous academic training and real life simulations.
The program is designed through comprehensive discussions and vast consultations with major administrative schools at national and international levels.
The BS in Public Administration and Governance program at the UOH focuses on both a theoretical and application approach, ensuring that students have the technical skills and theoretical knowledge.
This program focuses on exploring the fundamental elements of Public Administration, parameters of governance, and developing understanding of public policy.
The rationale of the program is to prepare graduates in understanding of how policies are implemented and how to mitigate potential challenges caused by policies, specifically related to government agencies.
A Public Administration degree can lead to a fulfilling career in government or public service.
Public administrators are responsible for drafting, analyzing and implementing public policies through a wide range of government agencies and directly impact who has access to resources, general living standards, and opportunities for diverse communities.
BS Public Administration and Governance can open up jobs at various levels of government service as well as in the private sector.
Upon graduation, our graduates will be prepared to gain entry-level employment in a variety of environments including government, nonprofits, and think tanks or other nongovernmental organizations.
This program is specifically designed to prepare the students for highly competitive examinations such as the Central Superior Services and Provincial Management Services.
With a Ph.D. in Public Administration, one can work as a senior policy analyst in a federal, provincial or local government agency.
No matter what degree level one pursues, everyone gets a chance to enter a rewarding career where one can produce positive change for individuals, communities and the general public.
It is strongly believed that the BS Public Administration and Governance program at the UOH will emerge as a harbinger for competent Public Administration in Pakistan and act as a platform to instil administrative skills in students and improve their administrative capabilities for better performance in their professional careers to ensure good governance in Pakistan and beyond.
—The writer is Political Scientist, working as Assistant Professor and Coordinator for Graduate Program in Public Administration and Governance at UOH.