UCL Public Policy has established a national policy hub to deliver two public policy summer schools and internship programs targeted at undergraduate students.
In 2019, UCL Public Policy delivered the Power to the Planet! policy summer school through UCL’s Global Citizenship Program. Over 100 UCL students took part, with sessions led by 13 national policy organisations.
Following on from its success, in 2020, UCL and the University of Manchester worked in partnership to deliver a joint summer school, the Policy Boot Camp. Around 300 students from both institutions participated. This intensive, online-only six week course was co-designed and delivered by 45 national and regional policy organisations. Students learnt about policy theory, took part in methodology workshops led by policy practitioners, and participated in seven multi-day sandpits, led by high profile organisations like the CBI, BEIS and GMCA, on current policy challenges. UCL brought in national policy leaders to deliver sandpits on industrial strategy, ethnicity pay gap reporting and COP26 climate negotiations.
Student feedback includes:
“I love the lectures the most because I knew nothing on policymaking before, but the high-profile current practitioners provided us with the best knowledge to empower us to be involved in this field (Power to the Planet! participant)
“Now I know that every discipline has something to offer in the world of policy. You can have as much specialist training as you like, but policy is about the real world, which isn't about mastering one discipline. (Policy Boot Camp participant)
“Even if one isn't interested in a policy-related career, the nature of policy work is such that one is constantly dealing with a great variety of people and thus one is guaranteed to develop one's communication, negotiation and teamwork skills.
Following the 2019 summer school, eight students went on to complete a 12-week internship at a national policy organisation. Read their blogs here.
We are in the process of arranging a further set of internships for participants in the Policy Boot Camp. These will take place in the summer of 2021, and will be paid at the real living wage.