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Montevideo, May 28th 2024 - 19:34 UTC

 

 

Eight UK students win competition to visit Falklands and explore areas of their interest

Saturday, November 12th 2022 - 10:26 UTC
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Some students were inspired by the rich biodiversity evident in the Islands and the conservation programs that ensure its preservation, linking these to broader debates about climate change. Some students were inspired by the rich biodiversity evident in the Islands and the conservation programs that ensure its preservation, linking these to broader debates about climate change.

As part of the Fortieth Anniversary celebrations eight UK students via a competition were offered an all-expenses-paid visit to the Falkland Islands in February 2023. Ben Fogle, who headed the judging panel said: “The Falkland Islands really are a magical place. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Islands many times over the years, drawn back by the unique wildlife. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Islands and to mark the event, we organized this competition.”

”Each of the entries was innovative, clever, moving and quite frankly brilliant.”

So how did students win places in this exciting competition? The Falkland Islands Government – working in partnership with historians and geographers from the University of Exeter, Newcastle University, and Royal Holloway, University of London – wanted to know what the Falklands mean to young people in the UK today.

The competition was all about storytelling and ‘place’. The judges heard the views of as wide a range of students as possible, from around the UK and from different types of schools. Some students were inspired by the rich biodiversity evident in the Islands and the conservation programs that ensure its preservation, linking these to broader debates about climate change.

Other students had links to the Islands through members of their family who could remember the 1982 war, or through relatives who served in the British military, and wanted to tell their story. Some entries looked into the Islands’ fascinating history, exploring everything from paleontology-ecology to linguistic heritage, whilst others focused on the modern Falklands and the cultural, political and diplomatic links with the UK and Latin America.

Catriona Pennell, Professor of Modern History and Memory Studies at the University of Exeter added, ‘Students were encouraged to tell their stories in ways that were meaningful to them and their peers, so entries to this competition were submitted in a range of flexible creative ways, such as essays or stories, posters, podcasts, or short films. The judges looked for creativity, innovation, originality, and their ability to challenge misconceptions. Clarity, passion, accuracy, and insight all scored highly.’

The winners

The winners come from across the UK, including County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Perth and Kinross, Scotland and Hampshire, Hertfordshire, London, Surrey and Wiltshire in England.

Matthew Benwell, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Newcastle University and member of the competition interview panel stated, “All the students demonstrated incredible knowledge of the Islands through their independent research and articulated clear, confident and impassioned presentations outlining their varied interests in visiting.”

One of the prizewinners, Sophie, remarked, “I can’t wait to find out about the culture and language of the Falklands, to hear some Falklands music and to see the amazing wildlife in real life”. Another prize winner, Jessica said, “I’m thrilled to be going to the Falklands because I can’t wait to learn about the effect that climate change is having on the many different species of the area.”

The eight competition winners will spend just over a week on the Islands, on a fully-funded and escorted tour, learning about the culture, history, and people of this UK Overseas Territory.

The visit to the Falkland Islands is planned to take place in February 2023 (half-term period), and will be paid for by the Falkland Islands Government. Falkland Islands Junior Ambassador Tamsin McLeod said, “We are really looking forward to meeting and welcoming the winning students to the Falkland Islands in 2023 and showing them our home and the unique experiences of growing up in the Falklands.”

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