Master of Public Policy student wins global policy competition

Hugo Thompson was named a global champion at the 2021 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition.

Hugo Thompson

The simulation competition, which was hosted virtually, saw four regional teams, made up of champions from previous rounds, placed in leadership roles within a time-sensitive, fast-paced environment where they worked together to minimize the impact of a deadly infectious disease. Hugo’s team was made up of students from Bangladesh, the United States of America, and China.

“We were tasked with managing a pandemic response for a country with more deprivation and a higher population density relative to other teams. This really put our skills and strategy to the test, making our win in the simulation really gratifying,” says Hugo. “I also really enjoyed playing as the Minister of Finance in both the regional and global rounds. I was proud that I carefully managed our economy and limited budget so that we could afford a strong health response, including a vaccine for everyone in our population.”

“I would like to thank the School of Government for the opportunity to take part in the competition. I would also like to thank my teammates for their support as well as NASPAA and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy for all their work in facilitating a fantastic learning opportunity.”

Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Wellington School of Business and Government, Professor Jane Bryson, says she is proud to see one of our Public Policy students excel in such a competitive and prestigious competition.

“Hugo’s success in the competition is something he can be extremely proud of,” says Professor Bryson. “It’s a great recognition of his expertise and I look forward to seeing his future success.”

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.

“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.”