Model United Nations 2013
On Friday, 22nd March, a group of 10 students from MPW Birmingham joined over 600 delegates to take part in Haileybury Model United Nations (MUN), the largest MUN gathering in the UK.
The delegates and around 100 accompanying staff came from 40 schools in seven countries from four continents to participate, and included delegations from Saudi Arabia, Italy and USA. The Model United Nations programme is an international series of conference simulations for senior school pupils and university students that replicates the United Nations. Delegates from participating schools are assigned to a country and a committee, and are required to play the roles of diplomats, researching and debating current world issues. In the course of an action packed weekend, students develop confidence, social and debating skills as well as meet young people from around the globe.
We were particularly pleased that two of our international students, Linh Tran (Vietnam) and Arthur (Yiyao) Zhao (China) were members of the MPW contingent. Linh had already taken part in the English Speaking Union competition earlier in the year. Arthur’s resolution regarding disarmament was not only approved but reached the stage of being debated in his committee, a real honour for a student attending for the first time. We were delighted to represent Vietnam (benefiting from Linh’s insight) and Costa Rica in this year’s conference.
At MPW, we work with students to raise their aspirations and encourage them to aim for the top Russell group universities. MUN has given our students the opportunity to show they can hold their own amongst 600 equally articulate and ambitious young people.
The students felt particularly passionate about this year’s theme of Equality and enjoyed not only the conference but the many weeks together preparing for it. They learned a great deal about themselves and each other, making lasting friendships with students from MPW and many other colleges. As a college welcoming international students, we believe the MUN reflects the heart of the educational experience we offer – bringing young people together to learn from each other as preparation for when they are in charge of the world!
Once back in college, in the throes of the summer term, a celebratory tea party was held for students to receive their certificates, including one awarded by Haileybury to Ulrika Dandekar for Outstanding Delegate, and give presentations to the Principal, Mark Shingleton, about their experiences. What came across very clearly was how they felt empowered to make decisions and to challenge what they felt was right and wrong.