Harvard University Emerges Debating World Champion
In a landmark event that happened in South Asia for the first time, Harvard University battled with 357 universities from around the world to win the prestigious title of ‘World Champion’ in the 34th edition of the World Universities Debating Championship, which concluded here on Friday.
It turned out to be a close battle between Harvard, Sydney, Glasgow and Cambridge universities as they debated on the topic — ‘India should adopt radical free market policies’. The Harvard team of Josh Zoffer and Ben Sprung-Keyser were declared the winners in the ‘English as a primary language’ category.
Harvard and Sydney teams formed the opening government and the Britons formed the opposing government in this British parliamentary-style debate.
It was a fitting culmination to the week-long war of words hosted by the Rajalaksmi Institutions as the 1,200 student participants from universities around the globe listened in rapt attention to the debators.
Following 33 years of tradition, the winners were announced past the stroke of midnight to a rousing applause. Dessislava Kirova and Kai Dittmann from Berlin University, Germany, won in the ‘English as a second language’ category and Vicario Reinaldo and Fauzan Reza Maulana from Bandung University, Indonesia, were adjudged winners in the ‘English as a foreign language’ category.
The ‘Chennai Worlds’, as it is called by those in the debating circle, was an opportunity for Indian students to interact with their global peers. In what can be termed a huge milestone for Indian students, IIT–Bombay, broke through the knockout round of the Worlds, and was short-listed with 32 other leading universities.The next edition of WUDC is scheduled to take place in Malaysia next year.