UCL News


Spotlight on Dr Christian Schuster

6 March 2019

Dr Christian Schuster is an Associate Professor in Public Management and Director of Education in UCL Department of Political Science.

Dr Christian Schuster

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am an Associate Professor in Public Management and Director of Education in the Department of Political Science. I teach public management and policy analysis, and head our department’s efforts to improve teaching and learning.


How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I have been at UCL since 2015. Before that, I was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the London School of Economics and an Economist at the World Bank.


What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

In teaching: I have been most proud when students effectively help policymakers in practice with what they learn in classroom.  Favourite episodes of my policy advice course include students helping Transport for London deal with high air pollution corridors (which contributed to TfL trialling green bus roofs in London), and helping Lambeth Council design evidence-based interventions to help troubled youth stay with their families and out of care.

In research: having real-world impact has always been most rewarding for me. In my research, I principally run surveys and field experiments with public servants in collaboration with governments. Several governments have improved management practices as a result, and a range of international organizations (such as the World Bank, OECD, United Nations Development Programme and Inter-American Development Bank) have incorporated my research findings into their work.


Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

Research-wise, I am designing an ethical leadership training for 1,200 public officials in Bangladesh and Nepal, as part of a UK Department for International Development-funded project. With a colleague at the University of Nottingham, we will test in a field experiment whether such trainings can enhance integrity in government. It is a great way to combine teaching with research!

As Director of Education, we are rolling out a large and very innovative new BSc in Politics and International Relations from 2019-2020, which I am really excited about.


What is your favourite album, film and novel?

My favourite album is Heiress by the Welsh singer Novo Amor. It seems to calm both our baby daughter and us, so it is my current favourite.

My favourite film is Schindler’s List and my favourite book is The Good Person of Szechwan by Bertolt Brecht. Both, in their own way, are powerful portrayals of moral values and choices.


What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

My wife frequently advises me that my humour is not appropriate for public consumption, so I will remain mute here.


Who would be your dream dinner guests?

A 2010 version of David Cameron to tell him about the outcome of his Brexit referendum.


What advice would you give your younger self?

Get a British English accent while you still can!


What would it surprise people to know about you?

During my childhood in Germany, I developed an addiction for German bread, which I am trying to placate in the UK with frenetic - but often less than successful - German bread baking attempts. Currently, I am experimenting with German versions of Chia bread.


What is your favourite place?

The crib of our baby daughter (when she is sleeping).


Christian won a UCL Provost Education Award in 2018 for his work with industry in public policy, teaching and increasing UCL’s attractiveness to prospective students.

View a digital exhibition of last year's winners

UCL Education Awards

UCL's Education Awards recognises staff making outstanding contributions to the learning experience and success of our students. Exceptional individuals and teams receive the Provost's Education Award, celebrated at an Awards ceremony on Thursday 30 May 2019.

Dates for your diary:

  • Submit your nomination to your department by 15 February 2019.
  • Faculties to submit their nominees Friday 08 March 2019
  • Shortlist announced at UCL Education Conference, Monday 01 2019

Find out more about the 2019 awards.