Glasgow debaters head for China

Published: 23 September 2011

Debaters from Glasgow University Union will pit their skills against China on 24-29th September.

Debaters from Glasgow University Union are heading to Beijing after qualifying to be part of a European team that will pit their skills against China on 24-29th September.

The Glasgow side of final year law student Ross Mitchell and third year politics undergraduate John McKee finished a magnificent 15th out of 350 university societies that debated in the European Championships, held in Galway, Ireland.  The debates ranged from the banning of economic, political and military support given by any Western state to Israel and Pakistan to making reparation payments to women for gender inequalities.

The tournament in China will see the top 15 European and Chinese universities debate over 4 days in 8 rounds, covering a wide range of topics.  In the first two rounds, participants will gain points for winning.  Once down to the last 16, the tournament is a straight knockout competition.

The trip and competition is being funded by the Chinese government and the European Commission, and is another indicator that the skill of debating at Glasgow is strong and thriving.  The University has an unrivalled record in international debating championships, having won the Worlds championship a record five times. It also holds a record eighteen titles for the John Smith Memorial Mace.

Chris Sibbald, President of the Glasgow University Union said, “We are thrilled that Glasgow University Union will be representing the University of Glasgow and Europe in the Chinese debating competition.  We wish Ross Mitchell and John McKee all the very best. We know that they will do us proud, and will follow in long and illustrious traditions of debaters including John Smith, Donald Dewar, Liam Fox and our current University Rector, Charles Kennedy.”

Professor Andrea Nolan, Senior Vice Principal for the University of Glasgow said Professor “This is fantastic news for the University of Glasgow, and reaffirms the strength of our debating talent. We hope that this initiative will contribute to the growing strength and range of ties between the University of Glasgow and institutions in China and our commitment to reciprocal long term relationships.”


For more information contact Cara MacDowall in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3535; 07875 203387 or email

• The University of Glasgow was the joint top rated University in Scotland in the 2011 National Students Survey, and joint seventh in the UK.

First published: 23 September 2011