NASPAA Student Simulation Competition at the LUPS

In 2023, the accreditation process of three master's programs at the Faculty of Public Governance and International Studies (FPGIS) began within the framework of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). As part of the accreditation process support, the Ludovika University of Public Service hosted for the first time the NASPAA's annual Student Simulation Competition on February 23-24 this year.

Réka Varga, the Dean of FPGIS, welcomed the students, followed by a speech from Alex Minkoff, the NASPAA simulation coordinator, who emphasized the goal of the event: for students to solve simulation-based situations they may encounter in their future careers as public service professionals.

On the day of the competition, students competed in teams of 3-5 members, portraying various political officials (Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, Minister of Labor, and representative of the Altrippa Treaty Group) from four fictional countries.

This year, the theme centered around migration: students had to manage a refugee immigration wave due to a civil war over a period of five years. After the morning simulation, the top three performing teams presented their strategies in an afternoon session.

The professional jury included Réka Varga, the Dean of FPGIS; Gyula Vastag, Professor Emeritus; Zoltán Hautzinger, Colonel and Vice-Dean of Education at the Faculty of Law Enforcement; Viktor Marsai, Associate Professor at FPGIS; and Éva Kovács, adjunct professor at Corvinus University of Budapest. At the end of the day, the professional jury and students had an informal panel discussion to review lessons learned, the real-life aspects of the simulation, and the advantages and disadvantages of the strategies used.

A total of 26 students from Belgium (Ghent University), the Netherlands (Maastricht University and UNU-MERIT: United Nations University Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology), Kazakhstan (Nazarbayev University), as well as from Hungary, participated in the competition, representing the Ludovika University of Public Service, Corvinus University of Budapest, and Széchenyi István University.

Overall, approximately 300 students from 12 locations worldwide participated in the competition: Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil), Grand Valley State University (Michigan), Ludovika University of Public Service (Hungary), Metropolitan College of New York (New York), Old Dominion University (Virginia), Rice University (Texas), San Diego State University (California), North South University Dhaka (Bangladesh), Suffolk University (Massachusetts), The American University in Cairo (Egypt), University of Colorado Denver (Colorado), University of Nebraska at Omaha (Nebraska).

Text by Laura Schmidt

Photo by Dénes Szilágyi