January 6, 2016

Pat Utomi Prize for Students’ Debate on Public Policy

Pat Utomi Prize

Course(s) Offered: Contest (Debate on National issues)
Course Level: Undergraduate
Provider: Youngstars Foundation, Centre for Values in Leadership
Country to Study in: Nigeria

Scholarship Description
In the years following Nigeria's independence from Britain, it was an integral part of school and students activities to engage in robust debate on national issues. Today, that culture has been replaced with music and dance competitions, beauty pageants and lotteries. There is indeed a great need to resuscitate that culture of debating and intellectual exchanges among students in Nigeria to spur a new culture of intellectualism among the next generation of students and leaders.

Pat Utomi Prize for Students’ Debate on Public Policy is designed to be an annual debate festival that shall revive and stimulate the fast eroding culture of students’ debates in campuses on government policies, programs and public affairs in Nigeria.

Each year, interested students from tertiary institutions in Nigeria shall participate in preliminaries to qualify for the grand finale scheduled to hold every 6th February alongside Prof Patrick Utomi’s birthday commemoration and annual lecture.

Pat Utomi Prize for Students Debate on Public Policy is an initiative of Youngstars Foundation in partnership with Centre for Values in Leadership.


Eligibility
Undergraduates of legally registered tertiary institutions in Nigeria, below 27 years of age.

Eligible groups
Citizens of Nigerian origin

Participating Institutions
Tertiary institutions in Nigeria

Fields of study
National issues i.e. government policies, programs and public affairs in Nigeria.

The Modality of the debate includes 2 phases and a grand finale, thus:

Phase 1:
Students in legally registered higher institutions in Nigeria who are interested shall record a 2 minutes video and submit for screening and selection. 16 highest scoring applicants shall be selected for the next phase.

Phase 2:
The 16 selected debaters shall converge in Abuja for a 1 day preliminary debate on 14 January, 2016. After the preliminary debate, 4 Debaters shall emerge to proceed to the grand finale.

Grand Finale:
The last round of the debate between 4 finalists shall happen on 6th February, 2016 during the CVL Annual Lecture and commemoration of Prof Pat Utomi’s birthday in Lagos, Nigeria.

Scholarship benefits
Prizes include:
  • Star Prize – N750,000.
  • Second Prize – N500,000.
  • Third Prize – N250,000
Method of Application
To participate, you must go through 3 steps:

Step One:
Record a 2 minutes video of yourself speaking on the topic “Should skills acquisition be mandatory for tertiary institutions?

Step Two:
Upload your video to your YouTube account

Step Three:
Complete the Online Submission Form

Please visit the official webpage (link to it is below) to access and submit the online submission form before the deadline date.

DEADLINES:
The deadline for submissions of all applications is 8th January 2016.

PLEASE NOTE:
During the first quarter of Nigeria’s independence, tertiary institutions were known for great lectures and intellectually stimulating debates among students on different government policies and programs. Our tertiary institutions were known as a source for providing alternate and qualitative views on public affairs which government and social institutions considered in framing policy and program directions.

It is therefore no wonder that in 1976, Prof Pat Utomi as a 19 year old 300 level student of the University of Nsukka, in then Old Anambra State of Nigeria, wrote to and invited the late Amb. Joe Garba who was then Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to come for a debate in his Campus with students on Nigeria’s Foreign Policy. Indeed Amb. Joe Garba honoured the invitation and flew all the way from Lagos to the University of Nsukka to debate and interact with students!

What gave Prof Pat Utomi the confidence to invite the then serving Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria to his school for a debate was because it was an integral part of school and students activities to engage in robust debate on national issues. Today, that culture has been replaced with music and dance competitions, beauty pageants and lotteries. There is indeed a great need to resuscitate that culture of debating and intellectual exchanges among our students to spur a new culture of intellectualism among next generation students and leaders.

For inquiries, email engage@youngstarsfoundation.org or call 07035535876/08020900285

Application Deadline: 8 January 2016.
Open to International Applicants: Yes

More Debate Contest Information and Application

Related: List of Contests for Local and International Students

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