Local Schools and Colleges Join Together for Exeter College Model UN

Over 100 students from Bristol, Devon, Dorset and Somerset came together at Exeter College for a Model United Nations Conference where students engaged in lively debate and discussion while representing different UN member states.  

The conference gave students from local sixth forms and colleges the chance to learn about diplomacy, international relations and how the United Nations operates.  

As part of the event students got to propose and debate resolutions to the major global issues of the day. Pupils were appointed to represent different countries, all with competing interests on the international stage. Students are expected to reach a consensus and deliver changes to international policy based on the scenarios laid out before them.  

Students from Maynards, Exeter School, West Exe, Clayesmore, Bristol Grammar School and Queen’s College Taunton all attended the event and debate topics included democratic integrity in elections, the issue of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation world wide and the implications of the growth of industry in Africa.  

The afternoon session saw all the students come together as representatives of their respective countries for a General Assembly to go through a world war style crisis. In a fevered session of debates and negotiations, students had to choose sides, plan attacks and build alliances to make the most of what military might they had at their disposal. The large-scale conflict concluded when member states who were accused of committing war crimes were put on trial by their accusers.  

Student View

Exeter College student Tom Matthew, who was the Under-Secretary-General at the conference, said he was pleased students had the chance to develop their skills in an engaging and informative way.  

“The event gives students the opportunity to develop their researching skills but also get to grips with some incredibly complex global issues,” said Tom, who will now become the Secretary-General of the Exeter College Model UN. His predecessor and Secretary-General of this year’s conference, Jacob Harris, has now left Exeter College to study History and German in Nottingham.  

Tom continued: “Students got to develop their public speaking skills as well as their teamwork and leadership abilities when tasked with coming up with solutions to some of the most difficult challenges we face.” 

Teacher View

Exeter College teacher and Reach Academy Coordinator Dr Martin Gilbert was pleased with how the schools came together to create a successful event. 

“It’s always great to see the students come together and develop their skills together in such an engaging way,” said Dr Gilbert.  

“Our Exeter College students helped facilitate the whole day for the benefit of everyone involved and I’d like to thank them for the role they played in putting on the event.”  

The Future

Exeter College’s Model UN team will be competing at several different conferences over the coming months and the Exeter College Model UN Conference will reconvene in September 2020.