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Students at Fulda University (above) are sharing the benefits of experiential learning through National Model UN programming with MacEwan students. Photo supplied by Hochschule Fulda | Robert Gross.

A global reputation

October 21, 2020 | Society

MacEwan University's Model UN Club is developing a global reputation. After 26 years of exceptional performances at model UN conferences around the world, the group is sharing the secrets of its success with other student groups around the world.

Most recently, the MacEwan group began collaborating with Fulda University of Applied Sciences in Germany to share the benefits of experiential learning programs (such as the National Model United Nations) with students of both universities.

"By preparing and participating in NMUN’s experiential learning programs the collaboration aims to help students of both institutions learn the intellectual responsibilities of active global citizenship and gain transferable skills such as leadership, public speaking and research," says Dr. Chaldeans Mensah, associate professor of political science and faculty advisor for the group.

So far, the MacEwan group has helped the Fulda students establish and develop their own UN club through virtual mentoring and peer-to-peer training, and both groups will participate in a joint mini-Model UN in November.

"The long-term vision is a strategic partnership to offer cooperative online and live courses to prepare students for NMUN conferences," says Mensah.

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Modelling global citizenship

Decorated MacEwan Model UN club draws on 25-year history to help build Model UN clubs at Ukrainian universities. 


The collaboration with Fulda builds on the successful and ongoing Ukraine Summer Model UN School project with the Ukraine Resource Development Centre involving Ukraine Catholic University (UCU) and the National University Kyiv Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA). The peer-to-peer training prepared the schools for a joint delegation at the NMUN Germany conference in November 2019, where MacEwan UN Club members established contacts with Fulda students.

"As with the successful Ukrainian outreach, the German collaboration allows the MacEwan UN club students to share their training modules and expertise with their German counterparts while they learn from each other in a cross-cultural virtual setting," says Mensah.

Dr. Claudia Wiesner, professor of political science and Jean Monnet Chair (and the Fulda students' faculty advisor), is applying for funding to include MacEwan University in a pan-European consortium (with Zagreb University and Madrid University) for Model UN and Blended Learning.

"In general, I think MUN is a great and invaluable experience already," says Wiesner. "Collaborating in this respect with a university on the other side of the Atlantic and, furthermore, with a faculty member and a student club that have had such great success will enrich this experience very much."

So what's the MacEwan club's secret?

Mensah credits the club's years of outstanding student leadership (many of the students have gone on to complete graduate studies) and its rigorous training program.

"As the past-president on NMUN’s Board of Directors, I have seen many MacEwan students join NMUN staff after their time as UN club members, which further confirms the quality of the training they receive," says Mensah.

Never one to miss a chance to develop its skills, the club will be participating in NMUN New York 2021 as virtual delegates.  

 

Bringing MacEwan to the world

In 2019, after three months of cross-Atlantic video conferences, students from MacEwan's Model UN Club met their peers from two Ukrainian universities in person. 

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