MUN is a worldwide practice of simulation games in which participants take over the role of an international delegate representing a country in a simulated committee of the UN. It is a very challenging and pedagogically valuable practice that attracted a huge network of educational institutions training for and conducting MUNs. Today, more than 400.000 people participate in MUNs each year.
The project PATRAPO extends this network to an intra-European cooperation for training for MUNs. For the time being, such a structure does not exist. The advantages of such a joint structure are the mutual support, possible synergy effects, and the widening of the respective horizons to different input and experiences. Besides it furthers intra-European relations and fosters EU values.
Participating in MUN allows Students the acquisition of key knowledge on the UN and International Relations as well as skills in debating, writing and presentation. This particular combination of knowledge transfer bridges theory and practice. MUN can be called a skill alliance that helps to close the gap between universities and specific political and administrative institutions.
The seminars and MUN represent active-learning models that encourage a paradigm shift in teaching and learning by focusing on learning by doing. This will improve learning outcomes, provide students with self-empowerment as it promotes and rewards teachers by shifting their role to an advisory position within a network of advisors.
Students will be involved in the joint blended MUN training seminar in various ways. They will prepare for and work in the seminar individually, in pairs or in groups with students from their university but also from the other partners. They will conduct their research, create presentations and lectures as well as input on various topics, engage in active debates and practice public speaking (1st semester). In preparation for the virtual or the real life MUN they will work on a position paper for which they will do the research necessary and write it according to the formatting specifications. After handing in their position paper, they will read and work with the other delegation’s position papers for the respective conference to be informed about other positions. For evaluation, they will regularly provide feedback for their peers and teachers and at the end of each course participate in evaluations and review sessions (2nd semester).
Collaboration with MacEwan University Edmonton
A new collaboration for National Model United Nations simulations!
Students and staff from the department of Social and Cultural Sciences of Fulda University of Applied Sciences (UAS) and the MacEwan University Edmonton (Canada) with its United Nations Club officially joined forces to collaborate on furthering MUN activities. Together they prepare for, practice and participate in (National) Models United Nations (NMUN) .
Delegates from both universities met during NMUN Erfurt in November 2019. The students Clara Umstätter and Hannah Wahler participated for Fulda University of Applied Arts in the NMUN.
“No other experience comes close to that of NMUN. Hannah and I wanted to give students the opportunity to get to know the work of the UN, transnational politics and international relations at first hand. But NMUN is also about meeting new people and connecting with students from all over the world. Fortunately, at our first conference in Erfurt I met Layal from McEwan University and we became friends. Thus we had the idea to connect our universities and to start a collaboration”, says Clara Umstätter. Both students stayed via email and social media in touch and exchanged research and teaching material as well as tips and other information regularly throughout the following semester’s NMUN course.
This cooperation was now institutionalised and will be further extended. The responsible professors both in Edmonton and Fulda, Prof. Dr. Chaldeans Mensah and Prof. Dr. Claudia Wiesner, connect and support the collaboration via integrating NMUN preparation into their teaching. “As the world faces a global pandemic, it is encouraging to see students from Germany and Canada engage virtually to exchange academic ideas to develop the skills of global citizenship, and acquire the diplomatic skills to participate effectively at NMUN conferences. Through peer-to-peer training, supported by faculty from both institutions, students gain transferable skills such as public speaking, research, leadership, the art of negotiations and conflict resolution”, says Professor Chaldeans Mensah, the faculty advisor of the UN Club from MacEwan University. Regular meetings (online as well as in person), „collaborative international online classes“, a mentoring program for delegates to connect students enable a cultural and scientific exchange, as well as participation in (N)MUN conferences with a joined delegation. Moreover self-organized online NMUN conferences are planned.
Each year, 10-15 students from the department of Social and Cultural Sciences of Fulda UAS will have the opportunity to participate in the NMUN-seminars and in a (N)MUNs such as the in the Czech Republic in November 2021 or in Japan in November 2022. “Doing NMUN means to acquire essential skills for students of Politics: they practice transnational politics live and from A-Z, which means they concretely apply their seminar knowledge and learn how politics actually work”, highlights Prof. Dr. Claudia Wiesner from Fulda UAS.
In addition, the UN-Club Fulda was established. It will be closely linked to the collaboration. The club offers regular meetings in addition to the seminars and is furthermore meant to enable an active exchange between the alumni and current participants in the seminars. It is led by students of the department of Social and Cultural Sciences who will, based on a written constitution, take on different tasks/roles such as Secretary-General, Director-General, Vice President of Operations or Vice President of Finance. They receive support from Prof. Dr. Claudia Wiesner. (LINK: UN Club)
AIMUN 2021 - Model United Nations completed online
Students from eight universities have jointly drawn up six resolutions
The United Nations come into your own living room! Such was the name of the game for 23 students of the "Intercultural Communication and European Studies" (ICEUS) Master program of the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences. In the Alberta Intercollegiate Model United Nations (AIMUN) in march 2021, a UN simulation game, the students played the roles of diplomats from different states of the UN. To do this, they had beforehand extensively researched their countries’ political positions and prepared intensively. The Fulda students represented the eleven countries Russia, Brazil, South Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Colombia, India, Australia, Sweden and Costa Rica.
the international conference – which took place online due to the pandemic – was organised by the UN Club of MacEwan University Edmonton (Canada). On two afternoons and well into the evening and the night (German time), the ICEUS Seniors met students from the University of Guelph-Humber Ontario (Canada), the Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University, the National University Kyiv Mohyla Academy and the Ukraine Catholic University (all three Ukraine), ITESO - Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara and the Universidad Iberoamericana, Leon (both Mexico). Together they worked out and passed six resolutions on the subject of "Climate Change: Mitigating its economic, environmental and social effects" and were able to gain valuable experience in negotiating and international diplomacy.
The conference began Saturday late afternoon German time (due to the different time zones, in Canada it was 9:00 am) with an opening ceremony. Dr. Melike Schalomon, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at MacEwan University, urged all participants to adopt a more global perspective, to familiarize themselves with international issues and to always reflect critically. She also emphasized the importance of cooperation and mutual understanding as well as of joint action. Further greetings came from Sean Waddingham, President of the Students ’Association at MacEwan University, and from Dr. Chaldeans Mensah, Faculty Advisor of the UN Club of MacEwan University. This was followed by a detailed presentation on the conference topic by activists Maryam and Nivaal Rehman, who founded “The World with MNR”.
Roll Call, talk and negotiate
After the first call of the delegates, the Ceremonial Roll Call, each of the delegations was given the opportunity to present his or her own position. In a 90-second opening speech, the students explained which measures the countries they represent have already implemented and which further goals and ideas they developed to limit climate change. Discussions, negotiations and the drafting of working papers and resolutions in virtual breakout rooms followed. The students were able to move back and forth between the virtual rooms and work together with other delegates. Numerous short speeches were given during the formal sessions of the General Assembly. These offered further opportunities to present the position of the state and for cooperation.
On Sunday evening, the conference participants met again after a long night. There, too, was diligent negotiation and intensive work on the resolution drafts. Finally, it was voted on six draft resolutions, all of which were adopted. The conference ended with a keynote speech from Heather McPherson, a member of Parliament for Edmonton Strathcona. She highlighted MUN as an “excellent tool” and emphasized how the conference can help to strengthen various soft skills such as arguing and debating. In addition, several awards were granted at the official closing ceremony. The ICEUS students Haya Khraes and Angeli Geißelhardt, who represented Switzerland, were honoured for the best position paper. Costa Rica, represented by ICEUS students Lucas Ricardo Perry Lalanne and Sonja-Monique Schackla, was awarded for the best opening speech. In addition, Australia, represented by ICEUS students Nathalie Kohlhert and Lena Fockers, and Columbia, represented by ICEUS Seniors Dayana Camila Tudor Gomez, Fadwa Mamouni and Particia Tavier Fairburn, were recognized as outstanding delegations. "AIMUN was a once in a lifetime experience during my journey as a student. I think it is the best opportunity to practice many skills that we will need in the near future such as: diplomatic behaviour, being much more open and collaborative, working together with different people for a common goal. I would definitely recommend it to other students.", says Zhylien Kaja, one of the ICEUS students.
The preparations for the conference took place during the course "Alberta Intercollegiate Model United Nations (AIMUN)" in the winter semester. The course was offered as an alternative to the pandemic-related cancellation of the usual excursion to Brussels and was given by Prof. Claudia Wiesner with the assistance of Clara Umstätter and Muriel C. Pluschke. “Normally we would have gone to Brussels this semester to get to know transnational politics and the actions of supranational organizations on site. Instead, we have now done it virtually. The students learned a tremendous amount and - as the awards show - they were also very successful ", says Prof. Wiesner happily.
Cooperation since 2019
The cooperation between the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences and MacEwan University exists since a delegation from Fulda took part in NMUN Erfurt in November 2019. In addition to joint online seminars in the summer semester 2020, two smaller joint online conferences have already been held (in November 2020 and January 2021). The university is also one of the partners in the recently launched large-scale DAAD project “Transnational Governance and Human Rights”. The aim of the project is to expand international cooperation between the faculty and Fulda University of Applied Sciences and to anchor it sustainably in the curriculum by the end of 2024. This is supported by almost one million euros in funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) through their HAW.International project line. With regard to the UN Club of MacEwan University, joint online seminars and joint participation in (N)MUNs, possibly with mixed delegations, are planned for the future.
Icon by shashank singh from the Noun Project