The UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs


The newly established School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (the “Policy School”) at the University of British Columbia seeks to be an essential centre for innovation in global affairs and public policy. In the world today, we are witnessing the dramatic rise of emerging nations and a global rebalancing of power. This heightened level of complexity and interdependence has multiplied the global economic, environmental, and social challenges that we face. These challenges are so profound that they call for a new approach to policy, one that fosters interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaboration, creativity, and intercultural understanding.

The UBC Policy School will catalyze a network of accomplished scholars from across both campuses who will collaborate with students, community, government, business leaders, and civil society through research, teaching, and practice. The goal of the Policy School is to contribute to solving problems of local importance and global consequence at the nexus of governance and scholarship.

As a unit within the Faculty of Arts, the Policy School will evolve with a campus-wide mandate and build upon UBC’s strengths in the study of economic and development policy, Asia, global affairs, and sustainability, with many opportunities for growth.

The Faculty of Arts has appointed Professor Moura Quayle as Director pro tem. As of July 1, 2017, the Policy School includes an initial complement of faculty members and staff previously appointed at the Liu Institute for Global Issues (Liu) and the Institute of Asian Research (IAR). Faculty members within the Department of Political Science, the Vancouver School of Economics, and the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability will also teach in the Policy School.

The Policy School will be the new home of the professional Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) program, which will welcome its third cohort in the fall. Plans for dual degrees with international partners, an undergraduate program in policy studies, and increasing flexibility for master’s students with part-time and online learning options are all options for the new Policy School to explore.

The two founding units, the Institute of Asian Research and the Liu Institute for Global Issues, will continue as research institutes within the Policy School. IAR will remain the premier Asia-focused research institute and think tank in Canada, serving as an active hub for research, teaching, policy support, and community engagement. The Liu Institute will retain its broad mandate to support faculty and students to pursue a policy-led approach that encourages examination of solutions that advance sustainability, security and social justice, particularly in lower income communities. They will be joined by the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) whose Summer Institute for Future Legislators will enrich curriculum, connect aspiring leaders with inspiring practitioners, and serve as a laboratory for democratic experimentation and innovation in legislation and policy-making. The Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI) will also be located in the new Policy School and contribute expertise around working with developing countries to improve how they develop, manage, and benefit from their natural resources, with projects that range from mineral auditing to integrated water resource management to reduction in mercury use in artisanal and small-scale mining.

Partners from across both campuses are invited to join the Policy School to increase its reach, expand the community of engaged scholars, and enhance academic opportunities for UBC students. To learn more, join us at the launch of the UBC Policy School on September 14, 2017 at the Liu Institute for Global Issues. More details on the event will be published on the Liu Institute website. A Policy School website will be coming soon. For more details, please contact Director Moura Quayle at