The World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) tournament returns to South Africa for the first time in 16 years. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla
Cape Town - The World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) tournament returns to South Africa for the first time in 16 years.

Students from across the globe are flocking to UCT for the prestigious tournament, which begins today and ends on January 4.

Panels will exchange views on global issues, following the four-team British Parliamentary format, with two teams representing the proposition and opposition.

Tournament director Emma Tiffin said they were expecting more than 900 participants from 170 universities.

“We have three categories, English as a foreign language, English as a second language and the open category,” Tiffin said.

She said the aims were to foster international ties, promote cultural exchange and challenge some of the brightest minds in the world.

The WUDC is one of the largest debate competition in the world, first held in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1981.

Joseph Mireku, spokesperson for the Speech Forces Organisation, said they were very grateful one of their team members would be speaking for the University of Ghana.

Mireku said they aimed to improve dialogue and debate by helping young people develop critical-thinking tools.

Students across the globe are flocking to UCT for the prestigious World Universities Debating Championship tournament which begins today and ends on January 4th. Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

All teams will 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 is chosen.

UCT spokesperson Aamirah Sonday said Malaysia, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria and the US were among the countries participating.

“The event culminates in an awards ceremony at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on January 3,” Sonday said.

Sonday said Cape Town mayor Dan Plato would address students at the awards evening.

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