Southwest University of Political Science and Law is located in Chongqing City, the upstream area of Yangtze River. It is the first established higher political and legal institutions, the first batch of key universities since the reform and opening up and the first batch of cultivation and education base of outstanding legal talents. SWUPL is also the key university co-administrated by Ministry of Education and Chongqing Municipality.SWUPL abided by its school motto “Learn extensively, practice devotedly, embrace virtue and stress law”, insisted on the university operation idea as “Teaching solidities the school, talents thrive the school, research strengthens the school and managing the school according to law", gradually condensed the “SWUPL Spirit” of “Vision, Effort, United and Discretion”.SWUPL gives priority to legal science, seeks multi-disciplinary coordinated development of philosophy, economics, literature ,management and engineering, etc., with economic law and procedural law as national key programs. A multi-level and multi-type pattern of fostering talents from undergraduates, postgraduates, doctoral education, continuing education to education oriented to overseas students has been founded.
As Hu Guang (the second president of SWUPL) concluded, our university aims to cultivate talents of political science and law proficient at both speech and writing. Debate is the very activity that can enable our students to be eloquent. Focused on law, SWUPL is a high-level university with distinctive characteristics of multidisciplinary coordinated development. Its diverse background, free spirit, and pursuit of critical thinking make the debate culture one of the most important components of its campus culture.
The systematic development of the debate culture started with the Speech & Debate Association which was established in 1983 and boasts over 10,000 members. The Chinese debate team was founded in 1995 and selected as one of 100 excellent associations by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League, Ministry of Education, and All-China Students’ Federation (ACSF) in 2005.
The debate culture features diverse activities such as Chinese debate, English debate, professional debate, speech and recitation, and forum, etc.
The most representative activity of Chinese debate is the “Tianlun Cup” National Debating Competition among Universities of Political Science and Law, which enjoys high status and reputation thanks to its influence, rules, and fairness. Starting from 2004, an annual debating competition is held on campus. Its increasing participation and benefits have helped popularize the Chinese debate among our students.
Our Chinese debate team has participated in all levels of debating competitions and won the champion of the 8th Chinese Elite University Debating Invitational and of the 2010 “World Expo” Cross-Taiwan Straits Debating Competition: Imagination of Youth, respectively.
English debate mainly develops as the form of Model United Nations. Model United Nations activities are held on campus annually. We have participated in the International Model United Nations Conference many times and made great achievements.
Professional debate is a special form of debate in some professional field, such as the Moot Court debate and commercial arbitration. The former is one of representative campus activities, focusing on the students’ mastery and application of professional knowledge. We have won the champion of the “Theory of Law Cup” National Moot Court Debate and of the “Trade and Arbitration Cup” International Commercial Arbitration Moot, respectively.
Forum is also an important component of our debate activities. It is centered in the Southwest Law Forum and Jinkai Renowned Scholars’ Lecture, supplemented by the Graduate Student Forum and Undergraduate Student Forum. We have hosted the Chongqing Young Pioneer Forum, the 3rd Chinese Young Lawyers’ Forum, and other similar activities.
SWUPL has developed a multi-facet debate culture by combing official contests with unofficial ones, debate activities on department-, college-, and university-levels, and debating competitions with forum. Meanwhile, the debate culture has permeated teaching by being incorporated into related courses and academic activities, thus attracting the media attention from Phoenix TV, Chongqing Business Daily, Shenzhen Evening News and so on.
The debate culture has contributed to developing excellent college students. Our students have repeatedly won various prizes in all levels of contests outside the university. The debate culture has increased our students’ competitiveness in the job market and provided a large number of high-quality talents for the society.
The core of the development of higher education is “quality”, and the fundamental way is “reform”. The outline points out that only by reforming cultivation system can we improve the quality of higher education. In terms of higher education of law, the effective way of innovating legal talent training system and improving the legal quality of talents cultivation is to rediscover and relocate the goal of talent training, and to actively explore new measures for practical education.
In the practice of teaching and learning, the Southwest University of Political Science and Law insists on the combination of theory and practice, and constantly enriches the connotation of practical teaching, and actively carry out practical education.
For one thing, at the time of improving cultivation scheme so as to ensure the practice teaching hours, the SWUPL also strengthens the integration of resources, creates the possibilities for practice teaching, updates the content of practice teaching, and steadily enhances practice teaching faculties, for example, it hired a number of elites from practice domain as part-time teachers, the SWUPL also establishes teachers’ practice teaching research system and teachers’ temporary position serving system, which are supposed to improve the teachers’ teaching techniques and promote the renewal of the curriculum content of practical subject.
For another thing, in order to improve students’ three abilities, SWUPL establishes a practice and teaching system of five platforms such as “inside-class practice teaching platform”, “practical information extension platform”, outside-class practice guidance platform”, “social practice training platform” and “practical rational strengthening platform”, which connect theory teaching and practice teaching, inside and outside of classroom practice, professional skills and scientific research and innovation, so as to cultivate the students' innovative spirit and practical ability throughout of the whole process, further to strive to shape a group of practical and innovative legal talents.
As a university which aims to cultivate the talents of science of law, SWUPL turns the concept from jurists education to both legal theories and skills of comprehensive practice education, legal education philosophy to achieve inverse regression of “Law-Legal-Practice”. With the aid of new teaching mode of undergraduate law education, SWUPL aims to cultivate students’ preliminary way to think like a lawyer and place equal importance on both legal theory and practice skills, so as to train the students’ professional skills and improve students’ comprehensive ability.