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Boris, Brexit and Cyberwar: Schools and colleges join University of Hull Politics Conference

 

From increasing the national minimum wage for under 18 year olds to increasing tax on non-recyclables – sixth formers competed to make their views heard at the University of Hull annual politics conference.

Teams of finalists from Franklin College, William Farr School and Wyke College were subject to an interactive vote as they put forward their arguments calling for a new law on their respective issues:

* Increasing national minimum wage for under 18 year olds – Franklin College

* Defence of Democracy Act – Wyke Sixth Form College

* Increase tax of non-recyclable materials in a commercial environment – William Farr School 

Dr Christopher Fear, who hosted the conference and is an expert in political theory, said: “The entries for the competition were very strong. All three of the finalist teams had clearly put a great deal of thought and time into preparing and rehearsing their statements. After all visitors had voted, the first prize was awarded to the team from Wyke College, for its ‘Defence of Democracy’ bill – requiring the result of all future referendums to be implemented before any further referendum can be held.”

More than 200 sixth formers from schools and colleges from across the north of England gathered at the University’s Department of Politics’ conference.

The schools and colleges from across Cheshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire attending the event included: Archbishop Sentamu AcademyAquinas College, Ampleforth CollegeBeverley J6Franklin CollegeHymers CollegeSouth Hunsley Secondary School and CollegeWilberforce CollegeWilliam Farr SchoolWyke College and Yarm School.

With speeches from Professor Philip Norton, Lord Norton of Louth, on the Future of the British Constitution and special guest Dr Ruth Fox, Director of the Hansard Society, who covered Trust in Politics – the conference gave sixth formers the opportunity to hear from academics at the forefront of Politics.

Professor Norton, who is Professor of Government, and Director of the Centre for Legislative Studies at the University and teaches a number of undergraduate politics and law degree programmes, has been described as the UK's greatest living expert on Parliament. While Dr Fox shared her research as Director of the Hansard Society. Founded in 1944, the society is the UK’s leading source of independent research and advice on Parliament and parliamentary affairs.

Dr Fear said: “The conference grows in popularity every year. It gives sixth formers a glimpse of what Politics at Hull is all about. Listening to lectures from leading academics in the field, and chatting informally with us about our research and teaching, is a great way to gain insight into what it is like to study politics beyond A-level.

“We make sure that our student ambassadors are also very involved – since they are best placed to answer questions about Politics at Hull from the undergraduate perspective.”

The sixth formers also had the opportunity to attend a variety of breakout sessions during the day covering topics such as: Green New Deal in the UK and USA, Boris, Brexit & Europe, Britain Fighting a Cyberwar and ‘War, What is it Good For?’

The conference finished with Dr Fear leading a real-life Question Time experience featuring Dr Ian Kelly, Chief Executive, Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce local councillor, a city councillor and two parliamentary candidates.

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“The conference grows in popularity every year. It gives sixth formers a glimpse of what Politics at Hull is all about.” Dr Christopher Fear, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, University of Hull

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