Debate Team wins Nationals in English

Release date: 2018.11.19



Kyushu University’s debating team “QU A” consisting of Mr. Khac Hung (BA student, School of Engineering*¹) and Mr. Senran Tao (BA student, School of Agriculture) won the national title in the “JPDU Autumn Tournament 2018” at the Biwako-Kusatsu Campus of Ritsumeikan University on September 22nd and 23rd. This JPDU (Japan Parliamentary Debate Union) tournament has been held since 2002 to decide the national champion of university students in an extemporary debating format in English. Often called BP (British Parliamentary) or Worlds style, this style of debate has four teams in one round: two on the Government side and two on the Opposition side, allocated regardless of their personal belief about the motion for debate. The motion, different in each round, is announced only 15 minutes before the round starts. After all eight speeches, which may be interrupted by the other debaters (called POI “Point of Information”), the teams are ranked by a panel of adjudicators (judges) based on the contents and delivery of the arguments. After four preliminary rounds on the first day, the top 16 teams advance to the elimination rounds on the 2nd day. Kyushu University’s ESS Debate Section*² sent two teams to the JPDU tournament and one of them, “QU A,” ranked 6th in the preliminaries, going through the Quarter- and Semi-Finals to reach the the Grand Finals. The team won the first place in the tournament, defeating the University of Tokyo, Hitotsubashi, and Waseda Universities. Mr. Senran Tao also received the Best Speaker prize in the Grand Finals, in which the students debated the motion: “This house prefers the world with one unified currency.”
Kyudai’s debating teams have been very successful this year in the international circuit as well. They participated in several tournaments including the “7th China British Parliamentary Debating Championship (China BP)” held at Beihang University, Beijing, China on October 3rd to 6th, 2018 and Mr. Senran Tao (above) and Mr. Naoya Kondo (BA student, School of Letters) of Team “QU A” became the first Japanese students to win the second prize in this international debate championship. This is the biggest international tournament in Asia with 280 debaters from all over the world as well as top-level judges such as last year’s best speaker in the World Universities Debating Championship. The motion of the grand final round was: “This house believes that Asian education systems should actively promote the view that Asian culture is superior to Western Culture.”

*¹ Students' affiliations are those at the time of tournament.
*² The ESS (English Speaking Society) is an extracurricular student-run organization.
【External Link】QESS Parliamentary Debate Section: (Japanese Only)

Khac Hung(left)and Senran Tao at JPDU Autumn Tournament 2018

Naoya Kondo (left) and Senran Tao at China BP