Benefits of MUN to Develop 21st Century Skills by Duygu URAŞ

How does MUN improve one’s skills?

Attending and participating in Model United Nation conferences are such a pleasure for all of us. But have you ever thought that collaborating in MUN conferences may be a great way to develop your 21st Century Skills?

What are the 21st Century Skills?

21st Century Skills refers to the abilities, learning habits, skills and character traits that are defined as the required identifying key skills defined by the educators, governmental agencies, academics and business leaders for success in the rapidly changing world of 21st Century and society.

As in a more general outline, the term point outs the basic idea that in such a complex, knowledge-based, competitive and technology-steered society and economy, students must be raised throughout their academic career and beyond as individuals that can meet the demands of the century.

There is not yet a consensus on exactly which skills can be referred to as the 21st Century Skills, although all the variations share a common ground. This part of the article will mainly focus on Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21)’s model of skills and grouping of them.

The skills have been grouped into three main areas:

  • Learning and innovation skills: critical thinking and problem solving, communications and collaboration, creativity and innovation
  • Digital literacy skills: information literacy, media literacy, Information and communication technologies literacy
  • Career and life skills: flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, social and cross-cultural interaction, productivity and accountability (Wikipedia)

Followed by:

7C Skills 

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Cross-cultural understanding
  • Communications, information, and media literacy
  • Computing and ICT literacy
  • Career and learning self-reliance (Great Schools Partnership)

The Four Cs

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity

  Also, knowledge, character traits, learning and work habits, skills that are associated with 21st-century skills are:

    • Critical thinking, problem-solving, reasoning, analysis, interpretation, synthesizing information
    • Research skills and practices, interrogative questioning
    • Creativity, artistry, curiosity, imagination, innovation, personal expression
    • Perseverance, self-direction, planning, self-discipline, adaptability, initiative
    • Oral and written communication, public speaking and presenting, listening
    • Leadership, teamwork, collaboration, cooperation, facility in using virtual workspaces
    • Information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, media and internet literacy, data interpretation and analysis, computer programming
    • Civic, ethical, and social-justice literacy
    • Economic and financial literacy, entrepreneurialism
    • Global awareness, multicultural literacy, humanitarianism
    • Scientific literacy and reasoning, the scientific method
    • Environmental and conservation literacy, ecosystems understanding
    • Health and wellness literacy, including nutrition, diet, exercise, and public health and safety

Why MUN is important to develop 21st skills?

Consciously or not, everything we do in MUN refers to a 21st-century skill. While doing our research before a conference, we use the skill of information and communication technologies literacy (and also research skills and practices, interrogative questioning) while we are scanning tens of sources, we utilize from our cross-cultural understanding ability to understand the main reasons that let countries take actions that formed by their cultural and social qualities that leads us to gain global awareness.

To create solutions, we analyze the information we got, we benefit from our complex problem-solving skill; criticize ideas effectively while we are taking advantage of our public speaking and presenting skills as much as our listening skill.

Most importantly, throughout the entire process, we work as a collaborating and cooperating team. We let our leadership skills lead the way to reach a common ground.

As it is also clear from the examples that are given, MUN is a deeply integrated organization with 21st Century Skills, thus it makes MUN conferences an unescapable way to develop and improve one’s 21st-century skills.

Notwithstanding MUN has numerous benefits upon improving one’s 21st-century skills, they are not going to be improved unless you make sure you do your best to make the most of the conference.

While you are doing your research you shouldn’t get prepared by only reading and searching through a limited number of sources, you must understand “Why?” and “How?”s, you should develop a point of view regarded to agenda items and think about the possible solutions. Instead of scanning the knowledge through just a few internet sites, you have to take advantage of every source that might be beneficial for your work. As an example, you may explore limitless sources in library databases or you may watch documentaries upon the topics. These will create a magnificent chance for you to improve your research skills and practice as well as your information and communication technology (ICT) literacy.

Furthermore, you shouldn’t exclude yourself away from those fevered debates since participating efficiently is the only way to improve your extremely valuable fundamental skills such as public speaking and communication. So without a second thought; raise your placard up-high, rise and deliver your speech delegate!


 Which domestic or international universities provide scholarships to students who have attended MUN before?

One of the numerous benefits of participating in MUN conferences is that they can provide students scholarships from universities.

    Here are some of the domestic and international universities that offer scholarships for MUN attendants:

  • Southwestern University
  • Drake University
  • University of San Diego
  • Indiana Tech
  • The University of Tampa
  • Bahcesehir University

Universities usually do not prefer to officially announce on their website whether they certainly offer scholarship for MUN attendance or not so it can be beneficial for you to connect with them through university mail addresses. Do not forget that it is always a good idea to include your MUN certificates, awards, and experiences in your application form.

Does MUN help students to find a job in their future life?

In the 21st century, society’s and business world’s expectations from individuals not only consist of their academic skills. They expect their employees to have critical thinking and problem-solving skills, discipline, confidence and effective communication skills. Through the article, you have seen that these are the basic traits that you can improve by participating in MUN conferences. So MUN will not only help you to develop 21st-century skills, but it will also assist you to be one step ahead of other candidates.

Wish you all the best!

Best Regards,

Duygu Uraş

The Writer of


“21st Century Skills.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Jan. 2020,


Partnership, Great Schools. “21st Century Skills Definition.” The Glossary of Education Reform, 25 Aug. 2016,

“P21 Framework Definitions.” The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 12 Sept. 2009.

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