Politics students celebrate success at NATO simulation event

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Photograph shows students taking part in 'Model NATO' sat round a large table in the offices of the Foreign Office, London
120 participants from 30 universities took part in this year's 'Model NATO' held at the Foreign, Development and Commonwealth Office (FDCO) in London.

University of Stirling students have returned triumphant from a NATO simulation exercise held at the Foreign Office.

Three politics students – Jenna Carty, Jamie Robertson and Lauri Merilaeinen – took part in this year’s ‘Model NATO’ event organised by the British International Studies Association (BISA) in partnership with the Foreign, Development and Commonwealth Office (FDCO).

Jenna Carty, Jamie Robinson and Lauri Merilaeinen stand outside the offices of the Foreign Foreign, Development and Commonwealth Office, London.

The annual exercise – which this year attracted 120 participants from 30 universities – aims to replicate the works of the North Atlantic Council – NATO’s principal political decision-making body – by simulating the response to a major crisis.

Jenna Carty, a fourth year History and Politics student, received a ‘Outstanding Delegate’ award for her calm, confident and constructive role as Albanian Delegate to the NATO Military Planning Committee.

It marks the fourth time a Stirling student has been recognised at the event.

Jenna Carty is photographed in the Foreign Office holding her certificate
Jenna Carty
History and Politics student
Model NATO has given me a renewed passion for international politics and I'm definitely more interested in exploring careers in the foreign office and internationally.

Jenna, 20, from Forres, said: “Acting the role of a NATO delegate for the day was really rewarding and the experience has definitely made me more confident in my understanding of how government and diplomats work every day.

“Adapting to the crisis simulation meant we were constantly learning and using our negotiation skills. Having to not only stand up in front of others to debate and propose policy was nerve-wracking, but also working to develop proposals and gain support to compromise on issues was an amazing opportunity to work on my problem solving and resilience skills. 

“My ambitions for the future are either to go into university lecturing, research or to work for the government in some capacity. I’m studying a masters centred on security and counterterrorism next year, but Model NATO has given me a renewed passion for international politics. and I'm definitely more interested in exploring careers in the foreign office and internationally.”

Megan Dee, Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Stirling, who accompanied the students to the event, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by Jenna, and testimony to the hard work, professionalism and skill that she and her fellow teammates all put into representing Albania at this year’s Model NATO. 

“This is the fourth year that Stirling has sent students to participate in the BISA-FCDO Model NATO and, I’m proud to say, the fourth year that one of our students has won an award.”

Crisis decision-making

Ahead of the event, each student was given a NATO nation to represent, and had done research into their country’s resources and political positions. They had also been given two briefings on the disaster at hand. This year’s hypothetical scenario focused on multiple earthquakes and a volcanic eruption, resulting in significant loss of life and mass displacement of populations.

BISA President and NATO specialist, Professor Mark Webber said: “The simulation is designed to provide students with experience of crisis decision-making; to get them into the heads of people having to make tough choices in very testing circumstances. 

“The students rose to this challenge very well. The Model concluded with a declaration agreed by all the student delegates on how NATO should respond to a major natural disaster. The students performed just like seasoned diplomats.”