Students got the chance to practise real-world skills today, as those on our Business and Enterprise programme conducted market research in Oxford for their Business Challenge, and others engaged in a Model UN debate on the South China Sea.
The Business Challenge tasks students with researching, designing and marketing a new business idea, working in groups and competing with their fellow students. Students took a trip into Summertown in North Oxford to consult people in the streets, so as to improve their products and determine effective advertising and marketing approaches. We look forward to the Enterprise Fair, where students will be able to present their business ideas to their teachers and classmates.
In the evening, 24 students tackled the thorny issue of the South China Sea in a Model UN debate that touched on environmental, political and economic issues. This issue was ruled on last year by the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in response to concerns raised by the Philippines over China’s construction of artificial islands in the area, activity that has inflicted damage on the coral reef environment and the livelihoods of Filipino fishermen.
Our students were very eager to put their public speaking and debating skills into practice, taking on the roles of UN delegates as they negotiated the territorial dispute between China and the Philippines, and wrote a resolution specifying measures to be taken. Many thanks to the students who took leadership roles in the session, particularly Max (the delegate from the Philippines), Madu (the delegate from China), and Alexandra (the delegate from the UK). Well done also to all the Model UN beginners who got involved. Students were reminded of the hugely important function of the real-life UN, and how their own experience as ORA students forms part of this wider picture of international cooperation and collaboration.
Undefeated by the day’s activity, some of our more energetic students played sports on the lawn as the sun went down. Our House Deans Jashmid and Marco are leading a fantastic sports programme, offering students summer specials such as croquet and cricket, as well as the international classics of football and basketball.