Bui Manh Tien, a student from Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM), was a member of the third-place regional winning team at the virtual site of the 2021 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition on March 6.
The competition – a partnership between the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) – annually connects public policy students from a vast network of universities worldwide through simulated gameplay. Developed by experts at the Batten School’s Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming (CLSG) and backed by real-world data, the simulation places students in leadership roles within a time-sensitive, fast-paced environment where they must work together to minimize the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
This year, over 400 students from 120 universities in 30 countries took part in the competition entitled “Your chance to control the pandemic: CLSG’s The Pandemic Game.” Participants competed virtually at one of the four virtual competitions hosted on February 27 and March 6, 2021.
Bui Manh Tien was among four FSPPM students to join the game; the others are Tran Anh Tung, Nguyen Phuong Dung and Vu Hai Truong. This was the first time FSPPM sent students to the competition. The four students have been coaching by two FSPPM lecturers – Dr. Huynh Nhat Nam and Dr. Le Viet Phu – since early this year.
Along with two other students from Indian and Korean public policy schools, Tien formed the third-place winning team from the March 6 competitions.
“Simulation-based learning is incredibly valuable, as it applies theory to practice and goes beyond conventional modes of learning,” said NASPAA Simulation Education Director Supriya Golas. “Through these simulations, students can take what they’ve learned in the classrooms and apply it to simulated real-world experiences. We hope these tools will prepare students for the next major global event, whether it’s a pandemic or climate crisis.”
100 participating teams were evaluated on simulation scores, teamwork, organization, policy decision making, and policy presentations. The winning team from each site will move on to the global “All Star” round in which a panel of prominent judges will identify the global winner.
The NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition is a day-long event that allows graduate students in public policy and related fields to test their skills on real-world data. Each year, the Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming develops an original participatory simulation specifically tailored for students of public policy and administration. The simulations give participants a chance to employ their knowledge in a realistic situation, as well as an opportunity to hone skill in leadership, negotiation, and critical thinking.
In previous years, the competitions took place in various places with various themes: food security, global warming or sustainable cities. This year, it was held virtually due to complicated Covid-19 situation.
In 2019, FSPPM’s Master of Public Policy degree (MPP) became fully accredited by the Washington-based NASPAA. NASPAA accreditation is the most prestigious award a public policy and management school can receive. FSPPM became one of only 11 non-US schools to be accredited world-wide: only 187 schools in total have meet NASPAA’s rigorous standards. There are nearly 400 public policy graduate programs in the US seeking this accreditation. No other Vietnamese or ASEAN school has achieved a Western accreditation at this level.