March 12, 2019
2019 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition Largest, Most Successful Yet!
The 2019 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition took place on February 23rd, 2019. This year we welcomed a total of 565 Student Competitors from 147 universities to 11 host sites around the globe.
Over 70 nationalities were represented among the competitors, who formed 116 teams as they vied for the top prize of $5,000. The competition, a joint venture between NASPAA and UVA’s Batten School, centered around the Host Nations simulation, developed specially for the competition by the Center for Leadership Simulation & Gaming.
This simulation placed participants in government leadership roles (such as Prime Minister or Minister of Labor) while their country experienced a massive influx of migrants. Teams were presented with a wide range of policy options to manage the crisis–they could close their borders, for example, or they could opt to offer vocational training to the new arrivals. Each game world contained four teams, and the decisions of each team affected not only their own country but their neighbors.
“Migration is a global issue,” said CLSG Director Noah Myung, “so we hoped to get participants to think of our world as one connected system and avoid thinking of policymaking in a vacuum. While teams were competing against each other, success for any one team required coordination with the others.”
After a short introductory video, participants played a short “Practice Game” to gain some familiarity with the simulation interface before competitive play. They then played through one four-round game and one five-round game, a total of over five hours of simulation experience. Participants then created policy memos and presentations for the site judges. The teams with the best sim scores at each site were chosen to present before a panel of experts, who selected a regional winner from each site.
“The Host Nations Simulation challenged many of my presuppositions about refugee policy,” said Raleigh Sims (Batten MPP ’19). “I learned to appreciate the complexities of migrant movement, but more so, I gained first-hand experience on how different country’s policies truly affect their neighboring countries.”
The CLSG began development on Host Nations in June of 2018. Utilizing systems dynamics modeling and extensive background data, CLSG built this Participatory Simulation in Public Policy to help educate our students in timely and sensitive issue. We incorporated data and concepts from real-world countries and events, read through piles of academic studies, and talked with over a dozen experts in migration and refugee policy. This year’s sim also incorporated an emphasis on international cooperation, requiring new, more complicated elements to be incorporated into the game.
After extensive testing, we were ready for game day.
CLSG personnel were dispatched to assist competition sites at the University of Michigan, UT Austin, Georgetown University, and Rutgers University. Back at UVA, the CLSG provided nearly 36 hours of technical support.
We wish to thank the 30 site and simulation leaders and 45 expert site judges who ran the competition at our six US and five international sites. It was a huge effort.!
The CLSG expects to release a classroom-ready version of Host Nations classroom-ready by June 30th.
Congratulations to the regional winners below! And special congratulations to our winners, the team from Villanova University!
CENTRO DE INVESTIGACIÓN Y DOCENCIA ECONÓMICAS DIVISIÓN DE ADMINISTRACIÓN PÚBLICA COMPETITION SITE
Mexico City, Mexico
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY — MCCOURT SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY COMPETITION SITE
KDI SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY AND MANAGEMENT COMPETITION SITE
Sejong, Republic of Korea
NORTH SOUTH UNIVERSITY — SOUTH ASIAN INSTITUTE OF POLICY AND GOVERNANCE (SIPG) COMPETITION SITE
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, NEWARK SCHOOL OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & RUTGERS GRADUATE SCHOOL DIVISION OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS COMPETITION SITE
Newark, New Jersey
THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN CAIRO—SCHOOL OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC POLICY COMPETITION SITE
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN — LYNDON B. JOHNSON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMPETITION SITE
The University of Texas at Austin
THE UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY — MERIT & THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY AT CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY (BUDAPEST, HUNGARY) COMPETITION SITE
Maastricht, the Netherlands
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN—GERALD R. FORD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY COMPETITION SITE
Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO—MASAGUNG GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT COMPETITION SITE
San Francisco, California
VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCES COMPETITION SITE