Ateneo team marks historic win for the Philippines in international debate tournament

The Ateneo de Manila University won the latest World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) in Madrid — securing the Philippines its first-ever win in the prestigious debate tournament.

BS Applied Mathematics students David Africa and Tobi Leung bested other teams from various universities across the world, including Bulgaria’s Sofia University, Israel’s Tel Aviv University, and Princeton University in the US during the grand finals.

The teams debated whether or not it was preferable to have “a world where all individuals have a strong belief in Ubuntu.”

Ubuntu, which means “I am because we are,” is a philosophical belief that “asserts that people’s identities should be shaped by, and their obligations should primarily be owed to, their communities.”

Ateneo University President Fr. Roberto Yap congratulated Africa and Leung.

“Their win is proof that our debaters can stand head and shoulders above their peers from some of the best universities in the world. Thank you, David and Tobi, for the immense pride you have brought to the Ateneo community, to our nation, and to the Southeast Asia region,” he said.

This year is the 43rd edition of the WUDC, considered the world’s biggest debating tournament. The competition follows the British Parliamentary format.