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Model United Nations and Debating

What is involved?

Do you like to argue? Oh yes you do! Debating is a great way to build confidence in speaking and listening and engage with important issues and questions about life, the universe and everything. We will learn about the skills of debating – persuasion, rebuttal and negotiation – in a series of lively activities and debating events. Model UN is part debating society, part simulation game where students take part in a role play debate based on the real proceedings of the United Nations General Assembly. You will research a wide range of contemporary issues from human trafficking to climate change, terrorism to arms trading, and play the role of a particular country debating issues and making deals with others to get them to agree to your proposals. How will you defend your human rights record? Which countries are affected by the pollution from your factories? Who would be your ally if a war breaks out? Prepare your case, learn who your friends and enemies are, and start negotiating!

Why should you do this subject?

This an exciting LinC activity in which students take the lead in researching issues and debating them. Find out about how different countries act on global warming, why refugee crises occur and how countries work together to combat terrorism. As well as developing your research skills, debating with others will help you to develop your public speaking and confidence. Debating and public speaking are excellent ways to develop your confidence, to get to know people and become an active member of the KEC student community. As well as developing skills which employers’ value, developing your speaking and listening is a great way to get the most out of group work in the classroom.

What activities will be undertaken?

Our first event of the LinC year will be the Great Balloon Debate, a knockout debating competition which takes place over 4 weeks and culminates in a whole college event. You will research a range of historical and contemporary figures and present an argument to convince others of their importance (and secure their place in the balloon!). Later in the year we will hear from a range of expert speakers and complete our own research into important issues in preparation for the Model United Nations Conference in the summer term. Learning about the procedures and rules of the United Nations, we will prepare for simulated debates and challenge each other to defend our chosen country. We hope to team up with the Model UN society at Warwick University to see how they run their crisis simulation game and learn a few tricks for our own debates. We will have the opportunity to take part in a Model United Nations General Assembly with 500 other sixth form students from colleges across the UK and put our negotiating skills to the test!

How will it help you in your future career?

Debating and Model UN helps you to develop a wide range of employable skills whilst learning more about issues that you care about and how they affect the rest of the world. Research skills, communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and negotiating are valuable skills in the workplace and for study at university. Taking part in Model UN is an activity that universities value and respect, and many have their own MUN societies. Experience of debating and research is valuable for many careers including journalism, law, and careers in national and international organisations such as the UK civil service, Oxfam or the International Red Cross – even the United Nations itself!

What employability opportunities would this LinC programme offer?

In addition to guest speakers from local universities, we will work with other student societies and take part in the Model UN Conference in Birmingham. We may also have the opportunity to take part in digital debates and online training to help build our confidence and skills.

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