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Slipping into the role of diplomats
Eight researchers and students from Stellenbosch University visited Chemnitz from 16-23 January 2013. Together with students from Chemnitz University of Technology, they successfully participated in the UN simulation "Chemnitz Model United Nations" – ChemMUN 2013, establishing personal contacts between students and researchers from both universities and developing future possibilities for cooperation.
The focal point of the trip, ChemMUN 2013, was ceremonially opened by Prof. Arnold van Zyl, President of Chemnitz University of Technology, and Prof. Beate Neuss, holder of the Professorship of International Relations and head of the project. The aim of the simulation from 18-20 January 2013 was to imitate the work of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in a realistic manner, involving the participants taking on the role of diplomats and having to represent the interests of their respective countries. In the course of ChemMUN, the student diplomats were required not only to apply their existing knowledge but also to develop a flair for decision-making processes in foreign policy as well as diplomatic negotiating skills. In the process, the students developed a deeper understanding of the other culture in question.
Both prior to and after ChemMUN, the delegates from Stellenbosch University got to know Chemnitz University of Technology and the research location of Saxony. Together with students and researchers from Chemnitz, the South African delegation was able to take a closer look at the city of Chemnitz as well as the University of Technology, in addition to visiting the cities of Freiberg and Dresden, also located in Saxony.
To conclude the cooperation project, Prof. Pieter Fourie from the department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University delivered a lecture on 21 January 2013 entitled "Two decades later: South Africa after apartheid". With his presentation on the origins of apartheid, overview of development since its abolishment and analysis of the current situation and development perspectives in South Africa, Prof. Fourie enabled the audience to gain insight into the country, its development and its future.