CEU School of Public Policy students Robert Papp and Yuxin Wang (both MPA ’15) presented their research projects at the 15th Annual Research Postgraduate Conference of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong. “It was a great way to meet other researchers in social science and hear about diverse topics across disciplines,” commented Wang.
Papp gave a poster presentation on his thesis research on the effects of natural resource rents on public employment. Contrary to common assumptions, Papp found that resource-rich countries tend to spend less on compensating public employees than resource-poor countries. He won a certificate of distinction for his poster presentation and plans to rework his thesis into a journal article with his advisor ProfessorMichael Dorsch.
Giving an oral presentation, Wang discussed African countries’ engagement with China. He used Angola and Botswana as case studies to argue that African countries with adequate resources should define their own policies towards China. He also argued that the African Union should formulate policies towards China that could be a reference point for countries with fewer resources.
“I was nervous the night before my presentation,” Papp admitted. “But after giving my presentation, I realized that SPP prepared me with the skills I needed to explain and defend my ideas and research.”
Attending their first academic conference, Papp and Wang gained valuable recommendations from peers and faculty on how to improve and extend their research. “I’m looking forward to participating in more conferences like this in the future,” said Wang.