Education news

The future leaders of the welfare state

Department of Political Science and Government and Department of Economics and Business have joined forces and established a new Bachelor’s degree programme at School of Business and Social Sciences. The Public Policy programme will be open for enrolment this spring. The students will receive training in planning and organising extensive public projects, preparing to handle the future economic challenges of the welfare state.

Where do we invest and make the most of our collective tax money in the future? This is the basic question that the students on AU’s new Bachelor’s degree programme in Public Policy will be dealing with, when they begin their studies this August.

On the Bachelor’s programme, which is open to enrolment and commencement this year, the students will learn to handle and organise large public projects, preparing to handle the future challenges of the welfare state through a combination of political science and economics and management courses.

In the future, new job opportunities will arise especially in economic affairs ministries, large public institutions, the large municipalities in Denmark as well as international consultancy firms that deal with public projects of a considerable size.

The director of studies Lars Skipper admits that this new programme will be both challenging and exciting for the students, who will be taught to handle large responsibilities within the context of the welfare state, which currently takes up about DKK 1000 billion in public consumption and government transfers.

- In the future, the welfare state will have less economic latitude, and, as a result, there will be a constant reform pressure on the public sector. In light of their extensive political and financial knowledge, these students will be able to help solve such problems. In my opinion, this will become one of the most interesting fields of work in the public sector in Denmark, says Lars Skipper.

Economics and Management meets Political Science

The Public Policy degree programme is founded on two strong existing programmes, Political Science and Economics and Management. And at both departments, they extend their recognition of this new programme:

 - The programme will provide students with a solid base for being able to follow calculations, and at the same time, they will also gain extensive insight into the political and public landscape in Denmark. Both aspects are necessary for being able to plan public projects in the future welfare state, taking account of the financial and political climate, says Associate Professor Gitte Sommer Harrits, who is director of studies on the Political Science programme.

- We have been contemplating and slowly developing this programme for many years in pace with societal developments, which have changed the framework for the welfare state. The developments have also increased the demand among some political science students for more economics courses – and vice versa for the economics students. The time is ripe for this programme, and I am sure that the graduates will come to fill important functions in society, says economics professor Nina Smith.

Facts about the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in Public Policy:

The first students on the Bachelor’s degree programme will commence their studies in late August 2014. The first students on the Master’s degree programme are expected to commence their studies in 2017.

Associate Professor Lars Skipper is director of studies. Associate Professor Gitte Sommer Harrits from the Department of Political Science and Government is chairman of the board of studies on the Bachelor¨s degree programme. Professor Charlotte Christiansen from the Department of Economics and Business is chairman of the board of studies on the Master’s degree programme.

- On the Bachelor’s programme, the students will attend both political science and economics and management courses.

- The programme is inspired by, among others, the American public policy programmes at e.g. the Gerald R. Ford School at the University of Michigan and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Click here to read more about the programme.



Lars Skipper, Associate Professor and Director of Studies
Mobile: 28 91 21 36
Office: 87 16 49 91

Gitte Sommer Harrits, Associate Professor and Chairman of the Board of Studies
Office: 87 16 55 79

Nina Smith, Professor of economics
Mobile: 61701288
Office: 87 16 55 65

Charlotte Christiansen, Professor and Director of Studies
Office: 87 16 55 76