person in personal protective equipment giving a covid-19 vaccination

COVID-19 has been one of the biggest challenges governments across the world have faced in recent history – socially, economically and politically. Public policy in particular reached a whole new level of importance, with many decisions having significant impacts on lives and communities. The pandemic’s widespread effects highlighted the need for international cooperation and a collective mindset to drive real change. 

When the pandemic escalated in early 2020, our public policy academics and alumni at the Blavatnik School of Government acted without delay. They redirected their research to the pressing issues of the moment: vaccination distribution; financial aid; lockdown enforcement and more. Our academics worked with, and continue to work with, governments around the world on their COVID-19 response strategies, helping the world to come together as one to fight the virus. 

When you study government and public policy with the Blavatnik School of Government, including on one of our online short courses, you’ll be working alongside seasoned academics who have been using evidence-based decision-making to rise to the challenges of COVID-19.

"We have to work together to beat it"

In 2021, to mark the one-year anniversary of the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown, we looked back on how our faculty, students and alumni pivoted their research and work to rise to the global challenge. 

Students studied the pandemic in class in real-time and contributed their own research, whilst our teaching faculty researched and worked with governments in countries such as Slovakia, Australia, Zambia, Colombia and Belgium on a wide range of pandemic-related issues. 

The video below features two faculty members from our public policy online short courses, Jonathan Wolff and Clare Leaver. Jonathan is the Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy and teaches on the Values and Public Policy online short course, while Clare is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy and faculty member on the Economics for Public Policy online short course.

If you take one of our online short courses, you could be learning from experienced academics who have been on the frontline of governments’ COVID-19 responses. Learn more about the government and public policy experts teaching on our online short courses.

The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker

Since 1 January 2020, the Blavatnik School of Government has been collecting information on the policy measures of more than 180 countries in the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) – our most important achievement to date in the fight against COVID-19. 

The tracker gives decision-makers and citizens a comprehensive and overarching view of governmental responses, helping efforts to fight the pandemic going forward. Hundreds of committed volunteers from around the world have helped to build and run the tracker, and we are very grateful for their hard work and support. 

The OxCGRT has been recognised and referenced by governments around the world in debates and decision-making. If you study with the Blavatnik School of Government, you have the chance to be part of a community that is always looking to make a global impact.

What online short courses can I study at the School?

At the Blavatnik School of Government, we currently offer four online short courses covering themes in government and public policy: 

All of our short courses are online and accessible from anywhere in the world, allowing you to upskill flexibly without needing to pause your career. 

An eight-week government and public policy course from the Blavatnik School of Government will give you better knowledge of the theory and, through live case studies, the real-world understanding that you need to help your organisation to better navigate global challenges of the future. 

Live sessions and discussion boards will also give you a chance to experience global cooperation – you’ll be able to share ideas, insight and knowledge with students from around the world, all united in their mission to improve local public policy and public sector responses. 

Learn with us and gain new skills that will empower you to join the frontline fight for the future of government.

Find out more

Discover more about the online short courses we offer to advance your career in government and public policy.