The first Suzhou Debate Open competition about topics related to foreign affairs, civil law, criminal law and environment and others was held at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.
The competition attracted almost 60 teams from universities and educational learning groups across China, including Fudan University, Shanghai Finance and Economics University, Beihang University, China Foreign Affairs University, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Learning Leaders.
An open debate means that the debate competition is open to both university institutions as well as non-institution entities. “It is an invitation to any university or person(s) who want to debate,” said Anthea Tse, one of the coordinators of the competition and English tutor from XJTLU Language Centre.
Four teams, comprised of Year One and Year Two students from XJTLU’s departments of Mathematical Sciences, Industrial Design and International Business School Suzhou participated in the debate competition.
Anthea said that attending the competition would help students to realise the level of speakers outside of XJTLU and it also provides students opportunity to get feedback from judges who are debate professionals and experienced in debating.
“The expanse of knowledge that students gained from this debate competition cannot easily be replicated in our weekly practices here on campus. Sharing ideas and finding like-minded people with a passion to debate encourages them to debate and practice more,” Anthea continued.
The XJTLU English Debate Society is for students who are keen on competitive debating. Anthea added: “Although British Parliamentary-style debates at XJTLU focus on refining and sharpening students’ critical thinking skills and English speaking abilities, we also instil other important values in debaters such as courage, curiosity, determination and humility.”
The debate competition was co-organised by XJTLU English Debate Society (EDS) on behalf of XJTLU Language Centre, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and Beijing Foreign Studies University.
The other three coordinators of the debate competition were Li Jiaxin from Beijing Foreign Studies University, Jacob Lan from Beijing Language and Culture University, and Professor Timothy Hampson from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
Li Jiaxin is the deputy chief adjudicator of this competition. Jacob Lan previsouly competed in the ESL (English as a Second Language) quarter finals at the World University Debate Championship and the semi-finals in the China British Parliamentary Debate. Professor Timothy Hampson has been a judge at over 20 debate competitions in South Korea, China and the UK.