Andover students confront political issues head on at The British Council’s Mock Council debate
Andover College students spoke up on the implications of Brexit in November at the 2016 Mock Council of the European Union. Hosted by The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, this year’s debate took place in London’s impressive Church House.
The annual debate invites only 30 schools from all over Britain who are each assigned the role of a member state or an EU institution, simulating a meeting of the EU’s Council of Ministers on two topical EU policy proposals.
Classical Civilisations student Fin Robinson and Public Services student Jess Howard were chosen to represent Portugal at the Mock Council, each delivering individual speeches on behalf of the country. Topics included the European Arrest Warrant (an arrest warrant valid throughout all member states of the European Union) and Erasmus+ (the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020) following Britain’s decision to leave the EU, issues of which are both up for contention in society today.
First year student Fin, who is currently studying A Levels in Modern History and Philosophy and Ethics alongside Classical Civilisations said: “Being a part of this debate was a great opportunity to expand the mind, as there has never been a more interesting time in politics for our generation.” Jess echoed similar interests in both politics and Parliament, hoping to use the experience to inform her ambitions as part of the Uniformed Public Services sector after completing her course.
Public Services lecturer and initiator of this impressive extra-curricular opportunity, Judy Flanagan believes Andover College’s participation in the Mock Council debate this year was invaluable. Judy said: “It has been a positive outcome all round, encouraging pro-activeness from students to get involved in external and enriching situations. The debate provided an opportunity to gain networking experience and will be a great addition to Jess and Fin’s CVs and university applications. It is a great platform for the College to be recognised.”
Andover College continuously strives to promote inter-disciplinary practice within its many courses, ranging from the academic and creative, to the professional and technical. This key principle not only encourages diverse learning, but also prepares students with the skills to work co-operatively and with fellow understanding. On his time at the College so far, Fin said: “The personal learning opportunities and comfortable class sizes are great, as I have already developed great working relationships with my lecturers and class mates since arriving in September.”