Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about The World Universities Debating Championship 2020

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Q: What is the World Universities Debating Championship? 

A: The World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) is the world's largest debating tournament, and one of the largest annual international student events in the world. To be specific, it is a parliamentary debating event, held using a variant of the British Parliamentary Debate format. The first World Universities Debating Championship was held in Glasgow, Scotland in 1981 and the best speaker was Andrew Taylor, Hart House. Each year, the event is hosted by a university selected by the World Universities Debating Council. The tournament, which is colloquially referred to as "Worlds", has started for 35 years and has grown both in terms of diversity and in magnitude. This History of the World Universities Debating Championships comes in three parts. From 1976 to 1990, it is taken almost word for word (with the exception of a section on the 1972 Sydney claim and the 1978 World Debating Festival both by Colm Flynn). From the 1991, Toronto WUDC Tournament booklet, which has no specific author, was provided by Randal Horobik. At the start of the section on Worlds in 1981 is an extract from an e-mail by Clark McGinn, Convenor of Debates, GU Union 1980 -81 and 1981 and Convenor of the First World Debating Competition, 1981. The history since 1991 has been compiled by Colm Flynn, Chair of Worlds Council 2002 and DCA 2003 and Steven Johnson, the current Chair of Worlds Council. 

Q: What is the competitive style of World Universities Debating Championship?

A: The World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) follows the four-team British Parliamentary format, with two teams representing the proposition and two teams representing the opposition. Teams are given a motion which is announced 15 minutes before the debate. Then, they are required to come up with convincing argument for/or against the motion drawing on their knowledge of art and culture, current affairs, economics, education, ethics, history, international relations, politics, religion, science and technology, social policy, sports and many other diverse and impactful topics. At that time, the sides teams are assigned randomly and they are expected to represent in which speakers don’t always argue in line with their own opinions. To be specific, teams are separated in into three categories based on their English proficiency, namely the English-as-a-Primary Language (EPL or Open), English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and English-as-a-Foreign Language (EFL) team competitions. All teams have to compete in nine preliminary rounds, followed by a break to a series of elimination rounds. The top 48 teams in each category will be selected to proceed until a set of four finalists are chosen. In addition to the main championships, the tournament also features a master’s competition (open to everyone) and a public speaking competition.

Q: Last time, who was the host of World Universities Debating Championship 2019?

A: The World Universities Debating Championship 2019 was held by University of Cape Town, South Africa, which is for the first time in sixteen years. This presents an enormous opportunity to help bridge the gap between the established debating nations and many amazing circuits that have grown in Africa over last decade. Since South Africa last hosted the World Universities Debating Championship, debating has been transformed massively in a positive way, especially with the creation of the Pan-African Universities Debating Championship. The desire of the many African institutions with the skills and enthusiasm to not only attend but to excel at Worlds has not been overlooked, and this edition of the World Universities Debating Championship will be used to further inclusivity and make the World Universities Debating Championship accessible to all. Besides, the best speaker of the World Universities Debating Championship 2019 was James Stratton from the University of Sydney.

Q: What is a meaning of the 40th World Universities Debating Championship’s logo?

A: The logo of the 40th World Universities Debating Championship is composed of three colors: Blue, Red and White. These colors represent the Nation and the corporate identity of Assumption University. Also, the giants in the logo symbolize Thai arts and cultures as well as the elegance of the 40th World Universities Debating Championship event, for the first time ever! , in terms of number of participating teams, attendees, competitive style, location etc.