A public debate competition at the Gwyddonle
Swansea University sponsors and hosts activities at GwyddonLe, the Science Pavilion of the Urdd National Eisteddfod. The Morgan Institute Challenge public debate competition has been aprt of the Gwyddonle activites since 2018.
On Friday, the Morgan Institute Challenge was held, sponsored by the Morgan Institute of Advanced Studieswhich focuses on transformative interdisciplinary research. The aim of the competition is to give pupils the opportunity to demonstrate their reasoning and debating skills as well as receiving feedback from leading critics in the field of policy and politics. To coincide with the GwyddonLe theme for 2023, 'Habitat', the subject of the debate was "The concept of habitat cannot recognise the history of racism and diversity in Wales".
A large audience came to watch the debate and hear pupils from Ysgol Gyfun Gwent Is Coed and Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera Bro Dur going head-to-head. The judges of this year's competition were Cefin Campbell MS, and Dr Angharad Closs Stephens, from the University's School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics with the competitors presenting arguments for and against the statement.
Thomas Howells from Ysgol Gwent Is Coed opened the competition presenting his argument in favour of the subject and Mea Verallo from Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera responded to his points arguing against. Then, it was the turn of Mali Jones, Gwent Is Coed, to convince the audience of her point of view against the statement and Efa Jones from Ystalyfera responded arguing in favour. Even though the subject was quite challenging, the four pupils spoke excellently and presented their views clearly and skilfully and dealt with the judges' questions in a mature and intelligent way. It was quite a task for the two judges to decide between the four, but Efa Jones was awarded Best Speaker in Favour, and Mali Jones as the Best Speaker Against. Both have won £250 each for their schools. The Best Speaker overall and therefore the winner of the 2023 Morgan Foundation Challenge trophy was Mali Jones. Mali also wins work experience of her choice organised by Swansea University as part of her prize.