on March 2, 2022
Published on March 21, 2022 Updated on September 27, 2022

Data and critical thinking LC: Cross-campus debates

Loved every bit of it, was very exciting to meet fellow students from other universities in Europe and share different viewpoints on current affairs.” 
Paris Spyrou – University of Warwick

On Wednesday, March 2nd, 10 students from across the EUTOPIA alliance had a chance to debate online on the very timely and current topic of climate change. The first debate round centred on the question “To what extent is climate change driven by human activity?”, where a team from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) had to take the stance and defend the fact that human activity has a big impact on climate change against a fellow team from the University of Warwick. The second debate tackled the question “To what extent does going vegan help reduce our carbon footprint?”. This was discussed with 2 opposing and mixed teams which involved participants from Cergy Paris CY, VUB, and Warwick.

During the debates, which lasted 45 minutes each, teams of students first presented their arguments, employing data and empirical findings (figures, graphs, charts…) to support their claims, before addressing and debating one another’s arguments. This presented students with a valuable opportunity and experience in how to leverage data to their advantage, how to challenges data and overall to test one another’s critical thinking skills. Following the debates, tailored feedback was provided to students regarding the quality of proposed arguments, supporting data, small mistakes, and also strategies that could have been taken to refute opposing arguments.
Really good opportunity, very interesting to work with people from different countries, it helps us to talk in public, and like in my case to talk in a language which I’m not comfortable with.”