In February, 13 graduate students from the university’s School of Public Policy, Master of Public Policy (MPP) program, and seven Master of Business Administration students from the Haskayne School of Business travelled to Israel for the Multi-Faces of Israel course offered by The School of Public Policy. The course was first launched in 2013 and to date almost 100 MPP and MBA students have participated in the program. The course is designed to broaden students’ policy perspective at the international level.
The course features high-level speakers from business and government, allowing students to actively engage with current leaders and industry innovators in Israel. Topics cover the four research areas of The School of Public Policy in Social and Health, Energy and Environmental, Fiscal and Economic, as well as International Policy and Trade.
Students met with distinguished speakers including Hiba Husseini, former legal advisor for the Palestinian Negotiations team in Oslo, Stockholm and Camp David processes; Armon Afek, medical deputy and director general of the Israeli Ministry of Health; and Colonel Eran Lerman, former deputy national security advisor for Foreign Policy and International Affairs.
Program highlight was immersion in Israel's culture and public policy
MPP student Dhwani Paul says, "The Israel program was one of the highlights of my master's degree. I was able to acquire a strong sensory and tangible experience in conjunction with the depth of knowledge I received both in the classroom and through our guest speakers. This program allowed me to understand and view issues from multiple angles. The compactness and meticulous planning of the program ensured that I was able to make the most out of the journey. It was also an opportunity to get to know some of my MPP peers and MBA students better.
"Being able to interact with the locals, including six Israeli students, visiting sites throughout Israel and visiting busy markets allowed me to observe the local lifestyle, and gave me a deeper appreciation for the culture and history of the country. Overall, this was an opportunity of a lifetime."
The program also invited six Israeli master's-level students for a ‘Mifgash’ encounter (Hebrew term referring to a planned educational in-person meeting of Jews) to join our students for two days of immersive discussions and peer-to-peer learning regarding the differences and similarities between our two countries and the day-to-day lives of the people within them.
Students have called their educational and cultural experience in this program life-changing and have felt a lasting influence on their progression as emerging leaders in Canada. Jonah Slunteh, a current MPP student, says, “The trip to Israel can only be captured in one term: life-changing. It is a constellation of politics, culture, religion, security, economics, and history. As a student, it clarifies everything Israel. As a religious person, it reinforces faith and understanding.”
Multi-Faces of Israel program is unique to UCalgary
The Multi-Faces of Israel is a unique program at the University of Calgary and across Canada. Pierre- Gerlier Forest, director and Palmer Chair, The School of Public Policy, notes, “Israel has developed original and innovative solutions to the most crucial problems faced by modern democracies.” The curriculum is designed to give students a broad understanding of public policy and the varying dynamics that take place in the development and establishment of relevant policy within a society.
The priority of The School of Public Policy is to continue to offer and develop courses that allow students impactful and influential learning opportunities that cannot be found outside of the school.