DEbate - national debate competition in English at the BTK /Faculty of Arts and Humanities/

The team of the Tóth Árpád High School from Debrecen has won the DEbate English-language national debate competition, which was organized again this year by the University of Debrecen's Institute of English and American Studies in cooperation with the Embassy of the United States of America and the American Corner.

The eight best teams from schools from Budapest, Debrecen, Gödöllő, Kecskemét, Miskolc and Pápa, Hungary, participated in the final held on Thursday at the University's Main Building.

The final competition was preceded by a series of qualifying rounds. First, the applicants submitted video projects on the role of international alliances, including NATO, while the 24 teams that had made it through to the semi-finals debated the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence from an educational perspective.

The University of Debrecen (DE) Faculty of Arts and Humanities' Institute of English and American Studies (AAI), which has organised the series for almost ten years, has been supported by the Embassy of Debrecen and the American Corner since the first edition of the competition.

- The University and its Anglo-American Institute are our privileged partners, with many links and joint events. The American Corner has been involved in the promotion and pre-selection process of the competition, providing a venue for the semi-finals and assisting in the judging process," said Zoltán Simon, Director of the American Corner in Debrecen, at the opening ceremony.

The final task this year was a topic that concerned many people, especially the younger generation. The contestants debated the benefits and dangers of using social media in English in several rounds, presenting arguments from both sides of the argument.

Preparation was also aided by an online learning resource developed by AAI staff.

- In recent years, DEbate ( has grown into a complex educational project: it includes university courses in English and Hungarian, an e-learning package for teachers, publications and scientific lectures," Zsuzsanna Lénárt-Muszka, assistant professor at the AAI North American Department, told

One of the main organisers of the competition pointed out that the package has already been included in the Tempus Public Foundation's Profformance Teaching Excellence Database, which is a database of international good practices.

In the grand final for the first place, the jury was composed of three DE professors (Éva Kardos, Zsuzsanna Lénárt-Muszka, Balázs Venkovits), Zoltán Simon, director of American Corner in Debrecen, and László Vizsy, an embassy staff member.

Second place went to the Ady Endre Secondary School in Debrecen, while the bronze medal went to the Rákóczi Ferenc Secondary School in Budapest.

Balázs Venkovits, Director of the AAI, the programme's initiator, stressed at the award ceremony that such competitions are important because they develop students' argumentation techniques, critical thinking and English language skills, which are essential in the 21st century and will be useful in their future university studies and work.

- It is a difficult competition for students in many ways, requiring weeks of research and preparation, and close cooperation with each other and with the teachers who prepare them. We also deem it very important that the competition has led to the launch of debate clubs in several schools and the use of the debate methods in secondary education is growing," the headmaster said.

The best entries were awarded with tickets to the Campus Festival, but no one went home empty-handed: participants received valuable prizes including language exam preparation materials, book gifts, a ticket to the Agora Science Experience Centre and a visit to the US Embassy.

First prize winner:

Árpád Tóth High School, Debrecen

Preparatory teacher: Tímea Nagy.

Non Plus Ultra team.

Second place:

Ady Endre High School, Debrecen

Preparatory teacher: Péter Belinszky

Young, Dynamic, and Unsuccessful team: Zsófia Csernyánszky, Boglárka Mező, Nóra Veres Kata Veres

Third place:

District II Rákóczi Ferenc Secondary School, Budapest

Preparatory teacher: Szabó Emese

Team DB8: Lili Csikós, Kamilla Dömötör, Zétény Horváth

Press Centre