‘First time in history’: Philippine team bags the World Universities Debating Championship title

January 4, 2023 - 2:52 PM
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Photo shows World Universities Debating Championship winners David Africa and Tobi Leung (Madrid WUDC 2023 via Office of Student Activities - Ateneo)

Filipino students won the World Universities Debating Championship for the first time in history.

David Demitri  Africa and Toby Leung of Ateneo de Manila University represented the country in the world’s largest debate tournament held in Spain from December 27 to January 4.

In the final round, the Ateneo team bested the representatives of Princeton University, Sofia University, and Tel Aviv University. 

The motion reads: “This house prefers a world where all individuals have a strong belief in Ubuntu.”

Ubuntu (‘I am because we are’) is a philosophical belief that asserts that people’s identities should be shaped by, and their obligations should primarily owed to, their communities,” the information slide reads. 

The debate competition also recognized Toby and David as the second and eighth best speakers, respectively.  

This is the third time David appeared at the WUDC Grand Finals, while it is Toby’s first time. Both of them are taking Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics with a Specialization in Data Science. 

Last year, BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh won the championship, making Ateneo the second university in Asia to bring home the title.