MPA Programs in Australia

Owen E. Hughes


Australian universities have established specific Masters programs for public servants over the past twenty years. However, until recently, despite being established, they have not thrived by comparison with MBA and other masters courses in business. It was not easy to attract students and good staff. MPA programs have generally not captured the public sector community’s attention in the same way as is the case in a number of US schools of public administration or management.

This situation changed in 2003 with the creation of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). This is a consortium of five governments - the Commonwealth government, the New Zealand government, and the three largest state governments - and nine universities set up to provide an Executive Masters in Public Administration. The ANZSOG cohort is composed of future leaders in the opinion of their governments. All students are fully funded by their governments and at a level that is more costly per student than other training. Funding of this scale reflects a major change for governments in Australia.

The establishment of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government represents a major change in education of public managers in Australia. There are lessons for other countries in its establishment.

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Chinese Public Administration Review (ISSN 1539-6754, Online ISSN 2573-1483)  is published by the School of Government, Sun Yat-sen University.