The University of Sydney Union’s first ever Mandarin-speaking debating team is toppling the world’s best as they power through the early stages of 2010 International Outstanding Youth Cup Mandarin Speaking Oregon Debates Competition in Taiwan.
Zhenyu Feng, Ling Wang, Liangliang Xie, Pengju Han and Hong Yu Xin, all native mandarin-speakers, are celebrating their victory into the next round over the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the runners-up of last year’s competition.
The USU has a highly successful and decorated history in debating, but this is the first time the organisation has sponsored a non-English speaking team.
Getting the team to Taipei City to compete was a victory in itself, with the USU’s KickStart funding program providing crucial financial support for the team.
The USU’s Director Student Programs, Alistair Cowie, said the success of the Mandarin debaters was “a tremendous step forward for Union debating”.
With more than 5,000 students on campus who speak Mandarin, the team represent the richness of diversity that thrives within the University of Sydney.
The USU recognised the important contribution to campus brought in by the vast population of international students, opening the International Student Lounge in 2009, and following up with initiatives such as the Mandarin-speaking debating team.
There are plans to further develop the debating program for non-English speakers next year, but for now the USU is proudly sharing the elation of the team in Taiwan.
More information on USU’s debating program.