SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Profile: A career in Government

Oleksiy (Alex) RyabchynAlex R SPRU Alumnus

Masters in Sustainable Development, 2013-2014 

Member of the Parliament of Ukraine 

Head of the Subcommittee on Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency of the Energy Committee

Co-Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Group on the United Kingdom 

What made you choose to study a Masters SPRU?

I wanted to gain state-of-the-art knowledge in innovation, sustainable development and climate change so as to become an internationally recognised professional in these fields. I looked for a postgraduate course in the UK on Google and found the Masters at SPRU. After reading about the course, about SPRU’s history and about its founder, Chris Freeman, I was determined to come to Brighton to study. It was a great decision and I will never regret choosing to study at SPRU.

What were the most important things you learnt during your time at SPRU?

Studying the Masters course at SPRU introduced me to the concept of developmental economy and taught me how to achieve innovative sustainable development by combining scientific, business, national and international policy knowledge.

The course focused mostly on developing countries in Asia and Latin America, so it was a challenge to apply what I learnt to the Eastern European context. However, in the end, I managed to implement my SPRU dissertation findings on developing domestic capabilities and improving the renewables market into a law in Ukraine. (Draft law on amendments to some laws of Ukraine to ensure competitive conditions of electricity from renewable energy sources - in Ukranian)

What are you doing now? How did you get there, and how did the Masters course help you into this career?

I am a Member of Parliament, Ukraine. I chair the subcommittee responsible for low carbon energy transition and I am also responsible for the relationship between the Ukrainian and British Parliaments. The domestic energy sector in Ukraine is outdated and in need of reform. Having learnt about technological trajectory and main trends, I had the expertise and authority to carry out the necessary reforms. The Ukrainian Parliament was one of the first in the world to ratify the Paris Agreement, and I am proud to have lobbied to achieve this.

What advice would you give to others considering this course?

You need to be good at time-management to be able to study, read, play football, hang out with your mates, do sightseeing and have fun living in Brighton. The library is a very inspiring place to study where you can find many interesting books. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your module convenors and professors, the information they give you outside of lessons can be very useful.

What did you most enjoy about studying at SPRU?

What fascinated me the most, was knowing that the topics we discussed at a seminar one day, could be presented to the world’s top officials by our professors the next day. The modules were all very practical, which I really enjoyed. I would like to thank Martin Bell, Florian Kern, Gordon Mackerron, Mariana Mazzucato, Erik Millstone, Paul Nightingale, Matias Ramirez, Ed Steinmueller, Andrew Stirling, Jim Watson and my course convenor, Maria Savona for all the knowledge they shared with me.