EVENTS: Cambridge Union HK Visit
July 22, 2010 2 Comments
From the organizers
Dear Sir or Madam,
I’m the Cambridge Union Society’s Debating Officer. The Cambridge Union is Cambridge University’s oldest and most prestigious student society. One of the aims of the Cambridge Union is to help spread debating to countries and schools that currently have limited exposure to it. We already run coaching sessions in schools in the US and in Turkey, and are looking to expand into other areas.
I’ve attached a letter explaining what we hope to do, and at this stage we are just looking to see if there is any interest. I would grateful if you could pass this on to the right person.
Jack Watson and Harish Natarajan
Cambridge Union Society
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing on behalf of the Cambridge Union Society. The Cambridge Union Society is Cambridge University’s oldest and most prestigious society. Founded in 1815, we have welcomed speakers from across the world including President Ronald Reagan, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Prof. Stephen Hawkins and Desmond Tutu. Former Presidents of the Society include John Maynard Keynes, former British Foreign Secretary Douglas Herd, Michael Howard and Arianna Huffington.
As Debating Officer at the Cambridge Union, I aim to help spread debating across the globe. The Cambridge Union currently runs a debating and coaching tour to the United States and Turkey. We are currently exploring the possibility of running similar tours to schools in Hong Kong.
The Cambridge Union Society has some of the World’s best debaters. We are the current English National Champions, and several of our members have ranked at, or near to, top at the World Universities Debating Championship. We run the world’s largest Schools Debating Competition, and teach debating across the globe. Further our members are amongst the Universities highest achievers. Over half our members obtained First Class degrees last year, and three have Starred Firsts from the University. Many have gone on to have successful careers in law, finance, many do postgraduate degrees, and serve as Cambridge University supervisors.
Debating is a valuable skill for students to learn. Debating gives students the ability to speak confidently in front of large audiences and perform in high pressure interview situations. Debating helps develop the ability to rapidly construct logical arguments and discuss ideas of significance. Debating is a skill that is looked on favourably by University admissions boards. Recognising these benefits has led to schools across Qatar, for instance, to participate in the activity.
We are hoping to run coaching programs in schools across Hong Kong. We propose that four Cambridge University debaters speak in an entertaining and stimulating public debate, and run a workshop, teaching core debating skills to students over one or two days. Ideally we would help set up (or expand) internal debating societies, and get more of your students involved in the activity. While in your school, we can also answer questions about studying in England, and at Cambridge University in particular.
The Cambridge Union Society is a registered charity, thus the objective of the tour is not to make money. As such we would only require that reasonable expenses are covered (around £2000 for 4 debaters). That amount could decrease based on the number of schools interested. We do not have a firm timetable for running these events, and they can be run at your school’s convenience.
If you are at all interested, please contact me for more details. At this stage the Union’s tour of Hong Kong is only exploratory – and depends on whether there sufficient interest in our program. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Yours faithfully, Harish Natarajan