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Will admissions tutors at top unis know what MUN means?
39

shockthemonkey · 23/09/2016 13:37

I have seen many PSs go out talking about participation in "MUN" conferences. All got offers.

Current charge's school says she must spell it out. That's seventeen extra characters she cannot easily find (currently her PS is at 3999 characters).

Can anyone in the trade tell me if most Admissions Tutors from top unis know that MUN = Model United Nations?

Thanks very much!

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JassyRadlett · 23/09/2016 13:47

I'm not in that group, but wouldn't 'Model UN' be a good compromise, and only add 6 characters? I'd say Model UN is pretty widely understood.

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HomeIsWhereTheGinisNow · 23/09/2016 13:52

They will know what it is. I saw your title and knew what it meant before opening the actual post.

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blueskyinmarch · 23/09/2016 13:53

They will know what it is. DD did MUN too and i don’t think she spelled out on her uni application. Or use Model UN as said upthread.

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shockthemonkey · 23/09/2016 14:03

Thank you so much. So very relieved. What if I had been giving rubbish advice all these years???

I think we might try Model UN just to placate her school. Another overly-controlling but slightly less clued-up school in France. But the teacher who wants her to spell out MUN will be writing her reference so anxious not to rub him the wrong way!

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user1474361571 · 23/09/2016 14:47

I would have to google MUN to know what is meant but I am not in a subject where this would be particularly relevant anyhow. I think putting Model UN is better than assuming everybody knows it.

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user1474361571 · 23/09/2016 14:53

BTW, assuming this is for a selective course and academics are reading UCAS applications, it's better not to annoy the academic by making them google something when it's the 50th application they are reading before interview days.

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shockthemonkey · 23/09/2016 15:12

OK, thanks user. You work in admissions for which subject? In case it's of interest, the subject she's applying for is PPE and her list of five includes Oxford.

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user1474361571 · 23/09/2016 18:11

Not Oxford. Not PPE. Many PPE/Economics/Politics tutors may indeed know what MUN is without thinking but still worth 5 extra characters in case somebody doesn't. I'm sure I have seen Model UN on a few forms; maybe I've seen MUN and realised what it was by context too.

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LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 23/09/2016 18:15

Any jargon risks alienating the reader. So it's a risk that even if a tutor understands the abbreviation, they may be irked by it. Admittedly it's a tiny risk, but it's still a risk. You can always find space to be accurate.

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goodbyestranger · 23/09/2016 18:44

I agree that abbreviations in a personal statement risk irritating. I don't see what Oxford has to do with it really, the tutors at Oxford are no less likely to be irritated by abbreviations than elsewhere and politics tutors everywhere will know what MUN means since so many schools participate. Seventeen characters is nothing in the grand scheme of things. A nephew abbreviated MUN and despite extremely good grades got far fewer offers than his grades deserved (History). My own DC have been instructed never to abbreviate because it is actually extremely annoying.

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goodbyestranger · 23/09/2016 18:49

Not that I'm a guru or anything OP but my DC have so far had twenty six offers out of twenty nine choices which is a reasonable hit rate. I'm assuming the lack of abbreviation helped.

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bojorojo · 23/09/2016 19:25

Or it could be that they are brilliant and that abbreviations, had they been used, would not have disguised that, goodbye!

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goodbyestranger · 23/09/2016 19:33

They aren't bojo but thanks anyway! I just don't think it's worth risking annoying admissions people for seventeen characters. Maybe it's a pet thing with me and I'm in a tiny weeny minority but abbreviations in personal statements make me go grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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bojorojo · 23/09/2016 19:49

I do actually agree with you, goodbye. It is better to add a bit of detail and not assume the reader knows the abbreviation and is happy to think what it means when they read the ps because they may see quite a variety of abbreviations!

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BasiliskStare · 23/09/2016 21:33

Ds did MUN and didn't actually mention it on his PS (History) but said he would have said "Model UN" not MUN if he had. Halfway house Laodicean he ?

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Leeds2 · 23/09/2016 22:08

I am not an admissions tutor but I think MUN would annoy me, in a way that Model UN wouldn't. Can't explain why! My DD did Model UN, but no idea if it was referred to on her personal statement and, if it was, how it was described!

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irregularegular · 23/09/2016 22:18

I confess I didn't immediately know what it was, but imagine I would work it out in context. I'd probably go for Model UN though for clarity.

(PPE tutor)

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Bobochic · 24/09/2016 12:34

I've never seen a PS spell out Model United Nations. It would look a bit condescending to me - as if the admissions person were too ignorant to know what MUN stands for.

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goodbyestranger · 24/09/2016 14:10

But have you seen any personal statements other than those of your clients and DSSs Bobo? Because presumably you advise in the same way as OP in which case obviously there are abbreviations wherever possible, to save characters.

To me, spelling things in full would simply look as though the writer is sufficiently versatile with their written English that they can cope with writing correctly, while at the same time saying something vaguely to the point in 4000 characters about their chosen subject. 4000 is ample for the purpose and needing to abbreviate just looks sloppy and casual.

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Needmoresleep · 24/09/2016 15:21

Bobo, there is a difference between English and French here. Acronyms are less accepted in English. The normal convention is to spell any acronym out fully first time it is used, unless it is known to be universal. UN could be seen as being pretty automatic. The M less so.

Essentially it is polite. Yes, irregularregular could figure it out from context, but why should she. She would have a pile of other PS' to read and will want to focus on the content without having to decypher things. Plain English is usually best.

From my experience of working in France, the French consider assuming a level of erudition from their reader is flattering. So it is fine to assume a reader will undedrstand MUN or any other acronym. Sophistication in French is usually preferred.

The trouble is these French students are applying to English Universities. Best to play safe.

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Archfarchnad · 24/09/2016 15:33

I would assume that a PPE tutor at Oxford would be well aware of it - someone in the natural sciences perhaps less so. But writing Model UN is clear to everybody so possibly preferable for that reason. DD wrote MUN - but that was applying for a politics course at a French university, where it's almost de rigeur to have been involved in MUN.

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BasiliskStare · 24/09/2016 17:10

So one more point - DS said he thought if it were relevant to the course you were applying to you can afford to say Model UN which is pretty much how the program is referred to, rather than spelling out "Model United Nations" in full, for the reasons Needmore said , in that he thinks UN is a globally recognised thing. If it is relevant to your course he things Model UN would be both accurate and clear. He thinks shortening to NUM gets into school "jargon" and if you are applying for a subject where you have to write essays , always best to make sure you are understood. That said, he is not French.

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BasiliskStare · 24/09/2016 17:18

Ah , I meant MUN (i.e. Model United Nations ) not NUM (National Union of Miners) .
Perhaps spelling out in full is the right way to go Grin
Good job DS wrote his PS and not me , eh?

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goodbyestranger · 24/09/2016 17:29

Applying for a politics degree, any form of engagement with the NUM would appeal to a tutor vastly more than the standard participation in MUN I'd have thought. So on second thoughts I might go with an acronym but let my finger slip on the keyboard. Easily done :)

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Bobochic · 24/09/2016 17:30

I've seen lots of PSs that are nothing to do with me - I read a lot, from lots of sources, as it's interesting to get a good feel for what's out there, and abbreviations are all over the place, for pretty obvious reasons. Why waste precious characters on stuff that can be said effectively in fewer letters? Save the characters for where meaning is added.

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