Debating Society

Co-president: Johanna Telek
Co-president: Péter Gerlei
Secretary: Jiayue Fan

An Introduction

The purpose of the society is to encourage critical thinking among its members while honing their public speaking and argumentative skills via competitive and formalised debating. Members learn to express themselves clearly and cohesively in English and to discuss a wide range of social, political and economic issues, thus gaining greater awareness of the world’s burning issues. The Society meets weekly in the form of workshops in preparation for debating competitions in which members regularly take part, both in Hungary and abroad. It organises the national qualifiers of the two most prestigious high school debating competitions, Oxford Schools and the International Competition for Young Debaters.

The Debating Society

The Debating Society meets every week, on Saturdays. They usually start the session with a workshop, held by the Presidency members or members of the Competitive Team. These presentations will introduce you to the world of debating and they will help you improve as a debater. Then, the debate starts! They usually use the World Schools format, one of the most popular styles of debating internationally. After the teams of three are assigned, preparation time begins. Sometimes the motions are impromptu or sometimes you can see them in advance on Facebook and do some research before the session. After prep time is over, the speeches start. After each session, you will get feedback from judges. 

The society also has a Competitive Team, that attends international competitions in Europe, for example, the Heart of Europe Debating Tournament and the Winter Holidays Open. They attend coaching sessions every week. Every year, they hold qualifiers, so everyone has a chance to become a member. 

The Society is also proud to host two important national debate qualifiers: the Oxford Schools National Qualifiers and the ICYD. Those who qualify through these tournaments will represent Hungary in Oxford or Cambridge in the final round. 

The goal is…

… to make the Debating Society as diverse as possible. They would like to make sure that both the older members and the newcomers can improve their debating skills in a professional environment and feel welcomed in the community. The Presidency aims to include everyone from all year groups to participate in debating since it is useful for students with any field of interest. 

Along the 2020/2021 academic year, debaters will listen to more experienced debate team members’ workshops and debate increasingly challenging motions. 

The goal is to hold as many show debates as possible, where the society members can observe experienced debaters in action. Another aim is to collaborate with other societies and organise events together.

What do we offer?

If you join the Debating Society, you can develop your public speaking skills and improve your critical thinking. As a debater, your argumentative skills will allow you to express your opinion about the biggest issues in our world. You will learn how to argue in a convincing way and come up with counter-arguments quickly.

Regardless of what you are planning to do, later on, you will need to think on your feet and come up with compelling arguments. Debating helps you in your academic life, (especially argumentative essays) but also allows you to recognise logical fallacies in everyday life.

Should I join the society? 

The Presidency aims to include everyone from all year groups to participate in debating since it is useful for students with any field of interest. Most of the topics revolve around social and political issues, but they will include motions that are interesting to those who prefer other sciences. The only prerequisite for debating is to be open for your assumptions to be challenged.

They know that the idea of speaking in front of people might seem intimidating to newcomers. Do not let this discourage you, they have all been there. The society will make sure that you will enjoy your first debate and that you will receive constructive feedback that will help you in your debating career.

Skills Development in debating:

  • critical thinking applied to reasoning and analytical skills
  • public speaking and diplomatic argumentative skills
  • competitive and formalised debating formats
  • teamwork and collaboration
  • applied and practical research skills
  • in-depth understanding of a wide range of social, political and economic issues

Join us!


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Past Events

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