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UCA Farnham welcomes local school students for annual debating challenge

We have once again welcomed school students from across Alton, Farnborough and Farnham to debate everything from capital punishment to whether or not charities are truly charitable.

The annual Youth Speaks events were organised and sponsored by The Rotary Clubs of Farnham and Farnham Weyside. Hosted at our Farnham campus, the Junior event took place on Wednesday 24 November, and the Senior event on Thursday 25 November.

Opening the first round of the Senior Youth Speaks event, Professor Roni Brown, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at UCA, said: “One of the most striking features of our recent times – whether Brexit or Trump or UK political shenanigans – is the urgent need to hear young voices, for young voices to powerfully and convincingly articulate the kind of world in which we may all thrive in the future.

“For this we need young voices that are authentic – by this I mean reflective of each individual – reflective of diverse backgrounds, interests and cultures. Speaking takes courage and risk. It should be the vehicle for self-expression. All this builds confidence, but most importantly it ensures that your voices and views cannot be ignored.”

Thursday evening’s event saw questions to the speakers posed by Councillor Carole Cockburn. The team from Amery Hill was announced as overall winners for their enlightening debate on the term ‘labels’, with Farnborough Hill’s team named the runners up for their presentation on ‘How the world is a small place’.

In addition to Amery Hill and Farnborough Hill, participating schools to the Senior event included Alton School, Eggar’s School, Salesian College and Weydon School.