Students to take on NATO roles, just for the weekend

Date 16.03.2017

Students from the University of Northampton will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on real international diplomacy issues – under the guidance of NATO officials.

Commander Kurt Engelen, who is a staff officer at the permanent representation of Belgium to the NATO Military Committee, will be on campus this weekend for the two-day University of Northampton Model NATO Summit 2017.

In addition, Major Serge Stroobants, who is a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy in Belgium, specialising in conflict studies, and who has worked at every level of the operational command at NATO, will be mentoring students throughout the summit.

They’ll be helping students make tough diplomatic calls on real-life issues that face NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which relies on consensus among 28 member states to co-ordinate the military and diplomatic responses to external threats and crises.

The event will see the students, many of whom are studying  Politics, International Development and International Relations at the University, become representatives of assigned countries and work within simulated NATO committees.

Summit organiser Mark Kirkham, Associate Lecturer in International Development, said: “This is a real coup for the University of Northampton and an excellent opportunity for students to engage with the reality of international relations.

“They will be simulating the real authentic committees of NATO under the expert guidance of experts from NATO, truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

While the summit is booked up, the public are welcome to attend as observers, but must book in advance from the event web page.

The summit is sponsored by NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division.

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