Thursday, 3 September 2015

The British Council hosted the GREAT Debate Chennai Finals 
Witnessed participation from 26 prestigious Colleges and Universities from Tamil Nadu

Chennai, 3 September 2015: The UK’s premier debating competition, The GREAT Debate 2015 Chennai Finals, was successfully concluded at the British Council today, on 3 September 2015. In attendance were Bharat Joshi, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai along with Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council, South India.

Organised by the British High Commission, the GREAT Debate competition is the biggest since its conception. In its third edition, the competition will be organised in ten cities – Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Jaipur.

M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women was announced the winner, out of the 26 colleges and universities that participated in the GREAT Debate Chennai Finals across Tamil Nadu. The winning team from Chennai, Tabitha S S and Kavya Sree Kumar, along with other city/centre winners will participate in the grand finale in New Delhi in January 2016. Two winning teams from the national finals will be offered a week-long study tour to the UK. This tour will include visits to a Barclay’s Premier League football match, visits to historical sites, academic institutions and cultural events, as well as meetings with British students.

Speaking at the Chennai Final, Bharat Joshi, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai said,“I'm delighted that we're hosting the GREAT Debate in Chennai - one of 10 Indian cities - once again. As we saw last year, Southern Indian Universities know how to argue! These debates are a vibrant, fun yet challenging way to celebrate the UK-India relationship. I congratulate the winning team and wish them luck for the finals.”

Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council, South India said: “The British Council is pleased to partner with the British High Commission on The GREAT Debate 2015. This initiative aims to celebrate the rich history of debating in India and facilitates informed discussions amongst the student communities. This is a wonderful opportunity for Indian students to showcase their in-depth knowledge, communication skills and eloquence on a wide range of topics. We heard some very interesting and diverse perspectives today from some of the brightest students in Tamil Nadu. We would like to congratulate the winning team and wish them all the best for the grand finale in New Delhi.”

This year’s theme is based on the forthcoming 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare which will be celebrated across the world. A number of this year’s debating topics will be inspired by moral dilemmas found in Shakespeare’s works and adapted to reflect modern themes. The topic of the final debate at Chennai finals was, ‘This house believes that crimes of passion can never be justified’.

British Council, the Chevening Scholarships programme, Virgin Atlantic, Premier Explore and Luxury Hotels Group are partnering with the British High Commission to organise the GREAT Debate 2015.                                             

For more information please contact: / 8939831780
Online resources

GREAT Debate,
British Council,
Chevening Scholarships,
Virgin Atlantic
Premiere Explore
Luxury Hotels Group


Notes to Editor

Education UK website

A comprehensive website aimed solely at the Indian students –with a searchable course database of more than 450,000 courses, information on visa procedures, stories from alumni, scholarship information and lots of advice for potential students and their families –

For advice about the quality of teaching and research in UK higher education institutions students should consult the following official resources - for subject and institution reviews visit and for research ratings visit

The UK is very competitive — both for tuition fees and living costs — according to a study by the UK Higher Education International Unit published recently. Eight out of 10 higher education students in UK also give their courses top marks, finds a survey published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England in August 2011. You can find out more
International students with a recognised degree from a UK Institution may also be able to apply for visa to work in the UK as per the announcement on ‘Exceptional talent route’ and ‘New student entrepreneurs’ scheme. You can find more

For any information on Chevening Scholarship, please visit:
The ‘GREAT Britain’ Campaign
The ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign (“GREAT”) is a strategic international marketing programme designed to promote the UK to business, tourism and student markets worldwide in order to enhance the country’s global reputation and deliver long-term economic benefits. GREAT was officially launched in February 2012.
• For world class education and training, with more than 30 of the world’s top 200 universities, choose the UK
• International graduates of British Universities significantly improve their career prospects and earning potential. Study in the UK and enjoy the rewards
• For a world class teaching experience, with 92% of postgraduate students in the UK rating the quality of teaching positively, study in the UK
• For the highest number of top MBA courses in Europe and one of the best places to study business, choose the UK

About the British Council

The British Council is recognised across India for its network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.

We also manage prestigious scholarships and training awards, including the Jubilee scholarships, the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and the Charles Wallace India Trust awards. Our English language centres in Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata provide a range of general and business English classes, specialised skills based programmes and young learner courses. We work with a wide range of Indian partners in cities all over India enabling British and Indian experts to meet and collaborate and to nurture mutually beneficial relationships.