The main competition of the 2013 National Universities Debating Championships will no longer take place in June as first scheduled due to bureaucratic issues at the education ministry. With the fasting month falling between mid-July and mid-August, the soonest possible window would be in late August. From several venue options that have been floated, Politeknik Sriwijaya in Palembang is becoming the strong preference. Considering how uncertainty has shrouded the NUDC process this year, further changes should not be ruled out.
NUDC, or previously called NUEDC, is a nationwide competition held and sponsored by the education ministry. Regional selections have been concluded in May as scheduled and teams have been preparing for a national round in June like previous years.
The change in dates brings about eligibility issues. NUDC rules dictate qualifying teams cannot alter the composition used in their regional selections and all debaters must be registered students. Without the option of substitution, these debaters need to make sure they can compete in late August. Many universities start their new academic year that month. Some students may have already graduated by then or opted to study elsewhere on scholarship, joint-degree programs or their own volition. It is unclear whether the ministry would relax some of the rules considering that the delay came from the government. If they stick to the rules, some teams may have to forfeit.
Such forfeit is not new. Last year, favourites Universitas Bakrie had to withdraw from the national round although the team reached the regional final because one of the debaters went on a conflicting scholarship program and substitution was prohibited.