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First Public Policy graduate from Aarhus BSS

In autumn 2014, the first group of students enrolled on the interdisciplinary Bachelor’s degree programme in Public Policy. Stine Toft is the first graduate from the programme and is now working in the Economic Council of the Labour Movement (Arbejderbevægelsens Erhvervsråd).

2019.08.16 | Mia Ulvgraven Nielsen

Stine Toft. Photo: Private

She is the first person who can call herself cand.oecon with a specialisation in public policy. She has completed both the Bachelor’s degree programme and the interdisciplinary advanced studies programme, which is a collaboration between the Department of Political Science and the Department of Economics and Business Economics. The new graduate has already landed a job at the Economic Council of the Labour Movement and here, the academic link between political science and economics is extremely useful.

“I conduct register analyses regarding the living conditions in different social classes - where can we see differences in the living conditions, and how do the differences change? I use the economic tools to conduct the actual analyses and my social science skills to draw conclusions. If I don’t have an eye for what’s relevant in contemporary society, the analyses simply won’t be as useful. When I’m on to what’s relevant in society and what the media wants to write about, it has a much greater impact,” Toft says.

Studying Public Policy has been tough because expectations have been high, and it has been quite demanding having to acquire the necessary skills in each field on your own, she explains.

“Naturally, you don’t automatically become a political science specialist when you’re not a full-time student on the programme. The same goes for economics. However, I work with a lot of economists in my current job, and I can see that I have the qualifications in demand. I also find that I can contribute with something extra. Even though the economists here at the Economic Council of the Labour Movement are very society-oriented, the political science part of the programme has definitely given me a set of additional tools that I can use when we conduct analyses,” Toft says.

 

Graduates meet employers’ demand
The very purpose of the degree programme in Public Policy is to combine the two disciplines, which are key in many positions. 

“The programme was established because we saw a demand in the labour market. Within politics, you will often a need solid economic understanding coupled with the ability to conduct complex statistical analyses,” says Rune Stubager, professor of political science and the director of studies at the Public Policy programme.

Staff at the Department of Economics and Business Economics also see a clear advantage in the interdisciplinary degree programme.

“I have always been convinced that the combination of the two disciplines gives our students a competitive edge on the labour market. For economists, having an understanding of political interests is a great strength,” says Torben M. Andersen, professor of economics and lecturer on the Public Policy programme.

“It’s great to see that the first graduate has already landed a job, and that she feels the degree programme has given her a head start,” says Stubager.

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