NASPAA 2021: SPP’s Student Regional Winner of the Batten Student Simulation Competition

April 20, 2021

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) and the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy have announced Tristan Bath, student in CEU’ School of Public Policy One-year Master of Public Policy program, and his teammates among the top-scoring teams of the 2021 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition. Representing CEU’s School of Public Policy, Mr. Bath’s team took the fifth place at the February 27th virtual site competition.

This year, over 400 students from 120 universities in 30 countries took part in the NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition. The competition—a partnership between the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and NASPAA—annually connects public policy students from a vast network of universities worldwide through simulated gameplay. While CEU has been the site host for several games in the past, due to the current events this was not possible. However, CEU continued its commitment and assisted the NASPAA team in the role of a role Game Controller for the online event.

SPP Dean Martin Kahanec commented: “I congratulate Mr. Bath and his team for their great performance and collaborative efforts! The participation of SPP students in the NASPAA-Batten competition provides them with an exquisite opportunity to engage with policy challenges in a near-real environment and compare their skills with fellow students from leading schools of public policy.”

About the Simulation 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 a deadly infectious disease.

“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.

“We’ve extensively updated our simulation to reflect the public health and economic crises brought on by COVID-19,” said CLSG Acting Manager Adam Roux. “It’s a great opportunity for aspiring policymakers to test their leadership, critical thinking, and communication skills against a scenario like the one we are all living through. Experiential learning tools such as the Pandemic Game can help bridge classroom learning and real-world experience, training future leaders to better navigate challenging situations.”

In the coming months, the CLSG will develop a classroom version of the simulation which will be available free of charge for the next three years. NASPAA will distribute the free classroom version to its 300 member schools.

About NASPAA: The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration or NASPAA is the global standard in public service education. It is the membership organization of graduate education programs in public policy, public affairs, public administration, and public & nonprofit management. Its over 300 members - located across the U.S. and in 24 countries around the globe - award MPA, MPP, MPAff, and similar degrees. NASPAA is the recognized global accreditor of master’s degree programs in these fields.

About the CLSG: The University of Virginia’s Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy prepares students for public life by allowing them to test real-world solutions in a virtual environment. The CLSG designs, develops, and implements cutting edge simulations and experiments to advance education in leadership and public policy; conducts rigorous leadership and public policy research using simulations and experiments; and creates a community of scholarship where faculty, researchers and students are supported in their scholarly efforts related to the methodology of simulations and experiments.