Monday, June 11, 2012

Chennai Wins Race to Host WUDC 2014

The Indian city of Chennai will be the host of the 2014 World Universities Debating Championships after receiving 55 votes, 19 more than rival Bangkok, in a landmark online voting process.  The main organiser is Chennai-based Rajalakhsmi Engineering College while Rashtriya Vidyalaya Engineering College and the National Law School of India University, both from nearby Bangalore, will officially support the undertaking. Chulalongkorn University was the sole school behind the Bangkok bid.

Indonesia, which holds 4 votes due to its Status A, chose Chennai and became the only Asian nation behind the winning bid outside home country India and its neighbour Pakistan. Other Asian countries, including the sub-continent's Bangladesh, went for Bangkok. Non-Asians overwhelmingly picked Chennai, which promises accommodation in a 7-star hotel and 5 parties with free flowing alcohol. Ireland is the only non-Asian country that backed Chulalongkorn's bid. Click here for the voting breakdown.

It was the first time that a WUDC host was decided via an online voting. No bid was floored at the 2012 Worlds in Manila, triggering a scramble to find institutions that dare to take on the challenge of organising a tournament that has grown into a increasingly demanding and lavish event in recent years. The two bidding parties, coincidentally all from developing Asian countries, collaborated with award-winning debaters from the first world to table excellent proposals to keep the most prestigious debating tournament on the planet alive. WUDC 2013, which will be held in Berlin, was decided in WUDC 2011 Botswana.    


EUR350/pax rego, 360 teams (may rise to 400), institution cap at 3 teams and 2 judges
CA: Harish Natarajan (University of Cambridge/UK/Finalist EUDC 2009, 2010) and Michael Baer (Stanford University/US/Finalist WUDC 2012)
DCA: Ely Zosa (Ateneo De Manila University/PH/Finalist WUPID 2008, 2009), 3 more will be appointed, including at least one representing the ESL/EFL group.
7-star ITC Grand Chola, overflowing free alcohol, all dietary requirements will be available
Visa-on-arrival for Indonesians. Organizers promise help. Quickest flight from Jakarta takes 7 hours using Singapore Airlines.

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