Royal University for Women organises Annual Student Debate with West Virginia University

20,Apr 2021

Royal University for Women (RUW), the leading higher education institution in the Kingdom of Bahrain dedicated to women’s empowerment and advancement, held the Annual Student Debate with it’s strategic partner, West Virginia University (WVU) in the United States of America. This event showcases RUW’s commitment to its mission to provide students with robust global learning experiences. This virtual event witnessed the attendance of more than 200 students, faculty members, and members of the community.


This year’s debate focused on the impact of COVID-19 on women and was titled “The House Believes COVID-19 Provides New Opportunities for Women.” The students from both universities presented logical and thought provoking arguments, ultimately fulfilling the objective of both institutions: to engage in a constructive dialogue on a relevant issue and to leave the room with new ideas.


The Acting President of RUW, Dr. Mona Suri, expressed her pride in the success of this event by saying, “It is a commitment of the University to positively impact the world by equipping women with the knowledge and skills to lead positive change and create solutions to global challenges. The COVID-19 was a great challenge during the current and past year, which we highlighted in this year’s debate. Our students were very well-spoken, deeply and critically thinking of this challenge and presented a great number of reasonings and opinions.”


Dr. Humam El Agha, Director of Centre for General Studies praised both teams from the two universities and commented on the debate by saying, “The Centre for General Studies at RUW assures that RUW students still have the opportunity to participate in international experiences even during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have successfully organised the annual debate via Zoom. We are proud to provide our students with such events which encourage them to engage with different cultures and the dissemination of knowledge at both national and international levels.”


RUW debate team consisted of Ms Fatima Naeem, Aldana Juma, Noor Jasim and Sakina Ali from the College of Law, while the WVU debate team members consisted of Katherine Charlebois from International Studies, Stephanie Golden from International Studies and Political Science, Sophie Stoviak from Business Administration - Human Resources Pathway, and Marissa McCoy from the Global Supply Chain Management. RUW team was mentored by Ms Hager Amer from RUW’s Centre for General Studies and WVU team was mentored by Dr. Susan Lantz, Teaching Associate Professor of Marketing, The John Chambers College of Business and Economics, WVU.

The guests expressed their gratitude to this opportunity where they found it very informative and exchanged their views on the status of women during the pandemic. Ms Noor Jameel Fadhul from RUW said “I have found the debate between RUW students and WVU students very beneficial and contributes to the collective human knowledge. The topic chosen for this debate is a controversial topic that can be related to most women especially during this challenging time with the COVID-19 pandemic. I personally believe that the participation in such debates enables the students to develop critical thinking skills and helps in building cross cultural relationships. All of the efforts and great work of both universities is highly appreciated.” Ms Hanna Aguglia from WVU said “I really enjoyed the debate and Seeing so many different people was awesome considering I have been itching to study abroad but unable to do so because of the pandemic. I thought all of the students were very well spoken and brought up important ideas such as how 80% of nurses are women and are expected to not only be lifesavers but mothers as well. I also happened to notice how beautiful all of these students are! Overall I learned a lot and it was a very cool experience.”


The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for all sectors including international education. Due to health concerns and the limitations on travel and student mobility, RUW has transformed its way of internationalisation. As a result, RUW has conducted several exchange programmes with partner institutions virtually. The virtual debate between RUW and WVU was one of such successful virtual exchange programmes which RUW has conducted.

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