Why study for the Master of Public Administration at MANCOSA

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Article by Dr Premlall Ramlachan and Dr Uduak Johnson

Public Administration is a vibrant and dynamic field, locally and globally, responding to changing challenges. At MANCOSA, the Master of Public Administration (MPA) – an NQF level 9 Postgraduate qualification – deepens and broadens an undergraduate degree, in the quest for both practical and high-order solutions to everyday administrative problems.

The MPA comprises core and elective modules, and a dissertation, and the course is spread over 18 months. The modules are strategically aligned, to prepare graduates for the complexities of public administration in South Africa and beyond. They cover a combination of theory and practice, encouraging both knowledge and application of relevant theory, given the challenges of public administration and management in multiple spheres.

The curriculum has been designed with the expectations of global organisations in mind. Let’s look at what a MANCOSA MPA entails.

The Agility of Public Administration

The “agility” of Public Administration is demonstrated in its diverse benefits, whether it is managing budgets for a government department, improving the efficiency of service provision, or enhancing policy implementation. The challenges of state capture are also pertinent here. An MPA is invaluable in improving performativity variously, in a government office, private company, or a non-profit organization.

1. A diversified and multi-disciplinary qualification

A MANCOSA MPA offers diversified fields of study and practice, preparing professionals to take up different leadership roles and managerial responsibilities in the public sector and allied fields, in an efficient and ethical manner. Chapter 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa underlines this uncompromisingly.

2. Nurtures leaders who are critical, strategic thinkers and problem-solvers

The MANCOSA MPA prepares candidates to be critical thinkers, strategic leaders and problem-solvers in a complex and continuously changing environment. Expertise in theories and practices of leadership, management, policy analyses, implementation and administration, as well as in workplace ethics, is vital. It enhances good governance in multiple ways, and forestalls debilitating maladministration in its different manifestations.

3. It prepares philosopher-kings and servant leaders

The MANCOSA MPA prepares students for leadership positions as innovators and “philosopher-kings” on the one hand, and servant leaders, on the other. Grounded in the knowledge of pertinent laws and legislation, the course equips students with a robust capacity to review policies and laws, to better serve the needs of contemporary society. The core and elective modules of the MPA reflect the values enunciated and lived out by two exemplary leaders, who epitomised humanitarian, philanthropic and servant leadership. These leaders, or “lodestars”, were the former President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, the Founder and Leader of Gift of the Givers. Both show that leadership is directed towards the welfare of the wider community, in the building of a transformed nation and world.

4. It equips you to make the right decisions

The MANCOSA MPA equips you towards making informed, objective decisions, grounded in research and evidence, rather than those based on questionable motivations. It improves skills in monitoring and evaluation, so that resources and systems are put in place to ensure positive outcomes. It is on record that the MANCOSA MPA has rendered positive results in many official and public spaces, at international, national, provincial and local levels.

5. A great networking and career experience

One of the invaluable learning experiences that the MANCOSA MPA generates is interactive networking, through its online classes. Students engage in dialogic learning with facilitators and fellow students from different walks of life. They leverage diverse perspectives, while also sharing their own experiences, knowledge and skills. Trained facilitators conduct webinars, using Power-Point presentations, via Zoom or Teams. Students may also steer their learning journeys, at their own pace, through MANCOSA Connect. The interactions among students coming from various local, national, continental and global spaces enhance mutually inclusive, collaborative and cooperative learning spaces. The variety of Masterclasses, hosted by industry leaders and professionals on different topical issues, ensures rich diversity. The MPA programme, buttressed on strong core content, indisputably promises to narrow the skills gap in institutions, organisations, companies and business houses worldwide, to ensure relevant transformation.

What makes the MANCOSA MPA different?

The MANCOSA MPA equips students to propel their respective nations towards meaningful change and progress, against a history of imperialism, and neo-colonialism. Some of our graduates hold top positions in various departments in different sectors of employment. These include ministries of government, private and public institutions, non-governmental organisations, companies, top business houses and municipalities.

The many dimensions of the MANCOSA Master of Public Administration all point to the value and success of this post-graduate degree. A fairly new qualification at MANCOSA, the MPA continues to expand both numerically and qualitatively, with encouraging feedback from students and staff. Developing critical thinkers, strategic leaders and problem-solvers in a complex and continuously changing society, MANCOSA’s MPA is fostering a new cohort of leaders, equipped to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century.

Are you in public service and do you want to equip yourself to better fulfil your responsibilities? Are you keen to develop both theoretically and practically, in a nurturing environment? MANCOSA’s MPA might be just the right qualification for you. You may also want to embark on re-building your current field, to become a public administrator, to contribute to the field of public administration, in innovative ways. Make an inquiry through our social media platforms or give us a call. MANCOSA also admits students, based on previous and current experiences and potential. See how our category of “Recognition of Prior Learning” (RPL) could give you credit for experience and knowledge you may already have in a specific field.

All you need to do is dream… And MANCOSA could make your dreams come true…