Strathmore Institute of Public Policy and Governance (SIPPG) are currently engaging Northern Illinois University (NIU); School of Public and Global Affairs, to offer a Double Masters Degree of Master in Public Policy and Management and Master in Public Administration. The delegation to approve this first ever double degree is under an approval review process by the Board of School of Graduate Studies.
The approval of the double masters degree, will seek to enable students pursuing either of the Master in the two institutions, get an opportunity to share credits and pursue the consequent second degree in a year. Students yearning to pursue this path will study for a year in the residential premises of the University.
The initiative currently under the flagship of Prof. Robert Mudida, Director SIPPG and Dr. Kurt Thurmaier, Presidential and Engagement Professor in the Department of Public Administration in the School of Public and Global Affairs NIU, will also give students who are only interested in pursuing elective units, instead of a full master degree, the opportunity to do so in either institution. The earned credits are recognized by the two institutions and hence giving students the opportunity to explore what works best for them.
“The merger of the two complementary masters is a sure boost to our students’ careers. We are pleased to work with Northern Illinois University, which ranks 5th best in Local Government in the United States. This will place the double master degree, MPPM/MPA in a position of great affluence to our students.” Prof. Mudida.
The approval review phase of the initiative is already forecasting an affirmative response. Jason Michnick, a student from NIU pursuing his Master in Public Administration, is currently undertaking his elective units in Public Policy and Management at Strathmore Business School. “My experience in Kenya has been quite stirring. Engaging with students and faculty members with diverse experiences in public policy and devolution from various sectors, as well as being exposed to a different culture; has been very fulfilling, enriching my learning experience,” remarked Jason Michnick. “I am now able to point out the similarities and the differences between United States and Kenya’s functionality of a devolution system, and get an experience on how a people’s culture and belief systems influence the running of their public institution.” He added.
The collaboration will also include a faculty exchange program: Dr. Thurmaier has delivered several lectures to the current Master in Public Policy and Management students at SBS, as part of the faculty exchange experience.
“The beauty of this degree is that both Universities have the autonomy to continue running their programs uniquely, but combine synergies in units which both Universities don’t overlap in. Our students in both Kenya and Northern Illinois get the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds and enrich their learning experience.” Dr. Thurmaier. “We surely hope that our students from both institutions will be able to integrate what they have learnt and improve their systems through a contextual adoption of the principles learnt in class.”