University partners with sixth form Friends of the Earth debate competition

21 Mar 2018

With one of the greenest campuses in the country and the only university to be developing classes in climate change for all its students, the University of Winchester is leading the way in educating the next generation in tackling climate change. To show this commitment, Professor Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor at the University of Winchester, recently partnered with the Gosport and Fareham Friends of the Earth debate and acted as one of the competition judges.

Formerly known as the Wendy Burkett Memorial Trophy, the competition encourages sixth form students to engage in debate on a wide range of environmental topics. The competition is managed by Gosport and Fareham Friends of the Earth, a grassroots environmental campaigning community dedicated to the wellbeing and protection of the natural world and everyone in it.

During the round-robin competition, participating teams of four were encouraged to work as a team to develop their presentational, debate and research skills by preparing and delivering arguments around their allocated topic.

This year, teams from St. Vincent College, Fareham College, Havant and South Downs College and Highbury College took part in the competition. Topics debated included the introduction of renewable energy, achieving environmental improvement, reducing air pollution and reintroducing species who have disappeared from the UK.

Professor Carter was on a panel of four judges for the event, working alongside Mark Waldron, the editor of The News; Dr David Rumble, Head of Conservation Strategy at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust; and Simeon Brown, Geophysicist and environmental expert, to choose a winner. The panel awarded marks to each team in the debate based on the clarity, structure, quality and range and depth of their arguments, with the school earning the most points across three rounds taking home the trophy.

This year, St. Vincent College were crowned as the winners, taking home a cheque for £100 and the trophy for the year. Runners up Havant and South Downs College received a £50 cheque.

Professor Joy Carter said: “It was such an honour to be part of this event. I was so inspired hearing students debate some of the most important sustainability and environmental issues facing the world today. All of the students did an impressive job arguing their case, which made choosing a winner exceedingly difficult. Well done to everyone who took part.”

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