Jomtien - Throughout the past ten weeks, students
enrolled in the Asian University of Science and Technology’s Intensive
Academic Program have been doing more than going to classes, studying and
learning English. They’ve been competing for top honors in the
university’s annual debating championship.
whether “Thailand should change it’s time zone”
The debates were originally the idea of Dr. Ronald
Boyle, of the university’s Inter-faculty Department of Continuing
Studies. Dr. Boyle said, “I originally conceived of the debates as a
means of raising students’ confidence and of improving their fluency in
English.” He went on, “We’ve seen real progress... in every student
who has participated in the debates. We’re very happy with the outcome
and we plan to make debating part of university life.”
Ronald Boyle presents the Ciceronian Cup to Jirawat Songsirijit, member of
the engineering students’ debating team.
The debates followed a similar format to those used by
collegiate debating societies worldwide. Over the course of the Intensive
Academic Program, students debated whether teenagers should be allowed to
go to discos; whether couples should live together before getting married;
whether it is better to study at home than abroad; whether it is better to
study business than to study engineering; and whether it is better to live
in an urban area than in a rural one (semi-final).
In the hotly contested final, the Bachelor of
Engineering students convinced the judges that Thailand should change its
time zone. The runners-up, representing the pre-MBAs, had won two previous
rounds. During the ceremony following the final, the engineers were
awarded the university’s Ciceronian Cup, named after Marcus Tullius
Cicero, the Roman politician and rhetorician.