The Art and Success of Sciences Po's Debate Team

Sciences Po students love to debate, and therefore it is no surprise that Sciences Po has numerous debate clubs, workshops, and even a debate team. What is perhaps more surprising is that the Sciences Po Debate team debates in English, using British Parliamentary style. This year, for the 26th Edition of the annual French Debating Association Tournament, Sciences Po made it all the way to the finals - losing against the Ecole Polytechnique. 

The grand finale took place in the grandiose hall of the Hôtel de Lassay at the Assemblée Nationale, in front of notable guests such as former French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, and many ambassadors of Commonwealth countries. The motion, defended by Ecole Polytechnique was: “This House believes that fools are running the show.”

Sciences Po student Gwamaka Kifukwe was awarded the prize of “Best Speaker”.

The workshop “Debating in Teams: The Art of Speech” is jointly offered by the Office of Student Life (Direction de la Vie Etudiante) and the Sciences Po Arts Bureau (Bureau des Arts) every semester.

Fun fact: In 1996, our president, Frédéric Mion, then student at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (l’ENA) was on the debate team. The ENA won that year against Ecole Polytechnique; the motion was “This House wants Madonna, Stallone and co, not Greenaway, Joyce and Poe”.

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