Students from Swansea University have been selected to participate in one of the most competitive debate programmes in the world.
Four international undergraduate students will showcase their communication skills at the International University Arabic Debating Championship in Doha, Qatar, organised by the Qatar MICE Development Institute, a Qatar Foundation Joint Venture.
This is the first time a UK University has been invited to attend the annual event. Students from over forty universities worldwide will battle against each other between 21 and 24 April.
Five debate rounds in two days will produce the top four teams. Those top four teams will compete in the semi-finals and the winners of those two debates will go head to head in the grand final debate at the closing ceremony.
The three successful teams will receive trophies and the ten best speakers will be honoured with special medals for their outstanding performance in the entire competition.
Preparing for the competition has entailed months of research, analysis and discussion to develop the students’ argumentation and persuasion skills. Coached by two trainers, the University’s Muslim Students Adviser and Students Union International Officer, regular practice sessions and a trial debate were held in the Mosque on campus.
International Officer Mahaboob Basha said he was thrilled with the team’s dedication.
“Our team is putting so much effort to get the trophy,” he said. “I am confident that GB Team will do much better than what we expect.
“I would like to thank the University Senior management team, paticularly registrar Raymond Cibrowskey, Caterin Mullien, (director of the marketing department), Emma Fersone (HoD international office), Clr.Nick Bradley and Tom Upton for their marvellous support to the team during our training.”
Layla Sabeel, a second year Engineering undergraduate student said: ‘‘I was delighted to be chosen to represent Swansea University at such a high profile international competition. It will hopefully provide us with a platform to express our opinions and interact with other international students. I look forward to putting the skills we have learnt to the test and bring the trophy back to Swansea!’’
Professor Iwan Davies, Swansea University Pro Vice Chancellor responsible for Internationalisation concluded: ‘‘We are proud that students of ours will play a part in such a prestigious event. The competition will no doubt provide them with valuable skills and prepare them for life post University. We wish our students the best of luck and although we hope their hard work will result in a victory for Swansea, we are confident they will all enjoy the experience whatever the final result.”