BISA to run Model NATO event in partnership with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

We are delighted to announce that we’ll be running a Model NATO event on 2 December 2019 at the London offices of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), This is part of the run-up to the UK-hosted 2019 NATO Leaders’ Meeting, taking place 3-4 December. We will be working in partnership with the FCO to host and run the event, which will enhance the learning of around 100 undergraduate students from 15 participating universities across the UK. Through their participation in the event, students will learn more about how NATO works and why the Alliance continues to be the cornerstone of UK and European defence.
Some of the students participating in the Model will also have the opportunity to attend and present to ‘NATO Engages’, the official public outreach event for the Leaders’ Meeting, taking place in central London on 3 December.
Simulation events are a recognised model of learning and allow participants access to insights unobtainable in a traditional classroom setting. While Model UN is perhaps the best known, Model NATO too has obtained a permanent presence in the educational calendar – with simulations being run in Washington DC, Bologna, Brussels and elsewhere. Preparation for, and involvement in, a Model is often transformative for participants, inspiring students to embark upon careers and projects in diplomacy, government and military service. During the day, students will have the opportunity to talk to, and learn from, UK Government officials and diplomats. 
Our Model will commence with a crisis alert and each committee will have a distinct role to perform. We have randomly drawn selected countries for each of the participating universities, so students will be given a set of briefing materials on national capabilities and policies, and basic information on NATO’s mission and organisation in advance of the event. On-site advisers from the FCO will operate as ‘home government’ issuing instructions if needed and be ready to provide advice if requested.
The Model will culminate with an agreed set of actions and close with a plenary session dedicated to the presentation of certificates of participation and delegate awards. An evening reception will be then be held, hosted by the FCO.
Mark Webber, Chair of BISA and NATO specialist said:
“Running a Model NATO fits perfectly with BISA’s objective to promote and develop International Studies. A Model involving a crisis simulation is a text-book example of experiential learning and we’ll be able to provide students with a unique experience that allows them to be active learners.”
“We hope that the BISA/FCO Model NATO will have a lasting outcome, in particular in raising the awareness and self-confidence of students. Many of those attending the Model will have no prior academic knowledge of NATO as it’s not widely studied in UK university curricula, and perhaps only a rudimentary general knowledge culled from news reporting. Preparing for, and participating in, the Model, and taking advantage of a pool of learning materials specifically provided for the event, will be a unique educational experience.”
If you’d like to watch Mark Webber and BISA Director Juliet Dryden draw the countries for each university visit our YouTube channel.
The participating universities are:
  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Kent
  • KCL
  • LSE
  • Leeds
  • Newcastle
  • Plymouth
  • Queens University Belfast
  • Sheffield
  • Stirling
  • Surrey
  • Staffordshire
  • University of South Wales
  • Westminster 
British International Studies Association


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