3FF’s UN award-winning leadership development programme, Undergraduate ParliaMentors (UP), celebrated its 5th year by expanding into Europe. We have teamed up with the British Council’s Belief in Dialogue initiative to give eight students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be mentored by MEPs in Brussels.
It is the first time the UP mentoring model – where students of different faiths and beliefs work on social action projects and are mentored by politicians – is being replicated outside the UK. The eight students from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the UK will travel to Brussels over the course of the academic year to meet their MEP mentors and attend parliamentary committee meetings and debates.
The programme launched in September with students from both the UK and EU branches of the programme getting together for a three-day induction event in North London. In addition to the eight EU students, there are – just as last year – 45 ambitious students from across the UK who will be mentored by British MPs and Peers.
The programme, previously only for Muslim, Christian and Jewish students, has this year expanded to include people of all faiths and beliefs – including non-religious beliefs.
Former UP mentors such as Iain Duncan Smith, Hazel Blears and Jo Swinson have expressed their support for the initiative. Iain Duncan Smith recently said: “This excellent programme brings different faiths together and gives young people the opportunity to learn how politics works, and about the interplay between politics, the civil service and government.”