Comparing Social Policy

Research at Oxford will focus on "invisible" working class
Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Olya Homonchuk ’15 has been accepted to Oxford University’s Masters of Philosophy program in Comparative Social Policy, a specialized program that accepts only four students annually.

From Ukraine, she studied at Normandale Community College in Minnesota and pushed for better access to health care and more scholarships for students.

Homonchuk said she chose the ILR School when she transferred because of her history of advocacy work and interest in social justice.

“I was looking for somewhere to improve my leadership skills and to learn how to address the issues I saw in my community on the national level,” Homonchuk explains.

Homonchuk’s interests led her to apply to the Comparative Social Policy program, which explores social policy and welfare state development across a range of industrialized and developed countries.

Students spend their first year analyzing, interpreting and reviewing major concepts, theoretical approaches and historical and contemporary issues in social policy. They spend their second year on a research project.  

Homonchuk hopes to focus her research on what she calls the “invisible” working class in developed Western countries.

“Unfortunately, the well-being of lower-income families is often overlooked in developed countries,” she explains.  “I want to look at how different social policies influence the working class.”

After that?

Homonchuk hasn’t decided yet, but believes that the open-ended nature of the Oxford program will give her an edge in whatever she chooses to do in the future.