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The Manchester Debating Union
Founded 1996
Home Page

MDU Executive Committee Members 2009 - 2010

President Ciarán Prendeville
Chair Susan Warden
Treasurer Alex Rabinovich
Secretary Rosanna Denyer
Publicity Director Benjamin Young

MDU Non-Executive Committee Members 2008 - 2009

Social Secretaries Darrell Baker and Myroslava Kochan
IV Convenors Francesca Hall & Thomas Hunt
Schools Convenors Victor Roman & Samantha Winkler
Sponsorship Secretary Lucy Penny
Communications Officer Nathaniel Jowitt
Training Officer James Dixon

The Manchester Debating Union or MDU is a debating society in the city of Manchester, England, whose membership is drawn from Higher Education Institutions in Manchester, including the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. It was founded in 1996 and is modeled on other similar university debating societies in the UK. The MDU organises the participation of Manchester students in intervarsity debating competitions as well as arranging public debates and hosting its own competitions at university and school level.[1] It was placed 5th in's 2008/2009 European university debate rankings,[2].



For the purposes of UMSU, membership of the MDU is determined by the number of those who have signed their list of members form. By this count the MDU has well over a thousand members. However in order to participate fully in the competitive debating function of the MDU debaters must purchase a life membership, which is currently £10.

The Committee

The MDU is run by its committee. This is split into the 5 elected members of the executive committee, and the currently 6 non executive positions who are not elected. The executive committee may appoint or dismiss non executive members. Some of the larger non executive roles have traditionally been occupied by more than one person.[3] Current positions and the MDU members filling those roles are listed above.

Debating Competitions

The MDU holds 3 competitions throughout the year, one Intervarsity, one national schools competition, and one local schools competition. As part of their local schools competition MDU members provide debate training to comprehensive schools within the Greater Manchester Area. The dates for the three competitions in the 2008/09 academic year were respectively; 28 February to 1 March, 7 February and 13 March.

Other Activities

The MDU holds regular public debates on Tuesdays during University Semester. Although these are often conducted by MDU members the society also holds debates with guest speakers. In the past these have included politicians such as George Galloway MP, Lembit Opik MP, Tony Lloyd MP and Sir Richard Leese, as well as various notable experts, academics and campaigners. The MDU also trains its members for participation in competitive debating. Regular practice debates are held on Thursdays and occasional master classes in issues such as international politics and specific aspects of debating are also held.


  1. ^ The Manchester Debating Union
  2. ^ British Debate | Universities | Rankings
  3. ^


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