Digital freedom focus of international student forum in NUI Galway

Ireland hosting the ten-day debating event for first time

Students from 48 countries will debate digital freedom over the next 10 days at an international youth forum in NUI Galway.

More than 100 students, from Belarus and China to Tajikistan and Vietnam, are competing in the Global Youth Forum, held in Ireland for the first time and hosted by the International Debate Education Association (Idea).

Idea is a global network of organisations that believe debate “promotes mutual understanding and informed citizenship around the world”.

The event is being run with NUIG's Literary and Debating Society and the Open Society Foundations – Youth Initiative, and was opened by Ireland North-West MEP Marian Harkin.


Now in its 19th year, the forum is aimed at novice and experienced debaters and offers students training, competition experiences and the chance to participate in cross-cultural exchange.

Idea youth forum director Steven Nolan said the event offered an "unrivalled opportunity for young people to develop their skills, meet and interact with people from a different background to their own".

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times