Nine College Competitions

Saturday 26-10-2019 - 16:49
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Hello Bowlanders! We hope the first few weeks of term have been full of fun and not too stressful! Well long may the fun continue and what better way to do that than with the Nine College Competition? These challenges are a fantastic way to get involved with the college and even if you don’t fancy competing, we would love you there supporting with us! There are four challenges that will run throughout the year: the debating, quiz, sustainability and charity challenge. If you are interested in participating or supporting any, there is plenty more information provided below.


Nine College Competitions

The competitions were set up in 2016 with a grant from Friends Funding. The aim was to create opportunities for student engagement and development at a college level outside of traditional sporting activities.  The result was four challenges that require students to work together in college teams and which enable them to develop a range of skills and win prizes.

Debating Challenge

The debating challenge was re-established after it stopped running in 2009. Supported by the Lancaster Debating Union, the annual competition gives students the opportunity to competitively debate relevant topics, and develop their research and public speaking skills.

Aimed at engaging first year students, the teams are made up of three speakers (first years) and three researchers (from any year). College teams compete in knockout rounds for a place in the final.  In 2016, the year the competition was reintroduced, Bowland won the competition, and in 2018, the Bowland team were runners up. Teams are presented with the College Debating Mace and a prize.

Registration is now open for students to join their college team using the link below and registration will close on Monday 28th October. This competition runs in Michaelmas term.

Not long left to sign up now, so make sure you don’t regret missing out!

Training Session: Monday 4th November, 7-8pm

Audiences are welcome to attend all sessions below.

Quarter Finals: Monday 11th November, 7-8.30pm

Semi-finals: Monday 18th November, 7-8.30pm

Final: Monday 25th November, 7-9pm

Further information:


Quiz Challenge

The Inter-college Quiz Challenge is run in a similar format to the famous University Challenge TV quiz show, with teams of four competing to answer questions on a wide range of topics. Questions are set by academics across the university, who also ask the questions and judge the various rounds and the final. 

In 2018, Bowland beat Cartmel by 245 to 145 to be crowned winners. In 2019, Bowland were denied a place in the final by the Grad College team.

Timetable - Audiences are welcome to attend all rounds.

Round One

The first rounds will takes place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in week 9 of Michaelmas term, in Fylde Lecture Theatres 1, 2 and 3, starting at 7pm. The semi-final teams will be determined by the end of the week.



Four teams will compete for a place in the final on Wednesday 29th January in Frankland LT and Cavendish Lecture Theatres, starting at 7pm.



The final will be on Wednesday 5th February in Faraday Lecture Theatre. 

Registration is now open and anyone interested on being on the Bowland team should email Lorna Harrison by 30th October, at

Again, not a lot of time left to sign up for this one, and it is definitely not an opportunity to be missed!


Sustainability Challenge


The Sustainability Challenge engages students in the environmental debate, and gives college teams the opportunity to come up with ideas aimed at making the University more sustainable. The teams are given several weeks to prepare, following which they pitch their final idea to a panel of professional judges. The competition is supported by Green Lancaster and the final takes place in week nine of Lent term, coinciding with Green Lancaster Week.

In 2016, Bowland College won the first ever Sustainability Challenge with their proposal to tackle energy consumption habits on campus through collective smart metering and encouraging positive change. 

In 2017, the Bowland team proposed the implementation of a Community Fridge to help fight food waste and improve student food security at the University. Following the team's success as runners up in the competition, Bowland College, the Students' Union and Facilities launched the Lancaster University Community Fridge on Monday 5th June.

Located in Bowland College, by the porters' lodge, the fridge is a place to freely exchange surplus food or collect free food that would otherwise go to waste.

As well as the Community Fridge, the Eco Bee Hives and the Precious Plastics workshop are also student ideas implemented because of the Sustainability Challenge.

For students taking part in this competition, it offers:

  • A chance to help Lancaster become more sustainable
  • An opportunity to work across disciplines with students in your own college
  • An experience that will give you new skills and impress future employers


Previous winners have also had the opportunity to travel to the DTU Green Challenge in Copenhagen.


The Sustainability Challenge launch will be on Thursday 30th January.


Teams will then start working together on an idea that they will present to the judges on Tuesday 10th March. Audiences are welcome to attend the final presentations.


If you would like to be a member of the Bowland College team, register your initial interest via the College Manager, Lorna Harrison at and more information will be sent to you around week 8 or 9 of this term.


We encourage participants from all faculties and of any level of experience!


Charity Challenge


The Colleges Charity Challenge is a great opportunity for students to:

  • Support a worthy cause
  • Join other students from your college on a shared project
  • Develop valuable skills such as team work and communication
  • Gain Lancaster Award points and experience for your CV
  • Have fun!


In college teams of a maximum of eight, you will need to choose one charity to support. You will then deliver one or more activities to raise awareness and fund-raise for your chosen charity. The work put on by the teams is celebrated at a joint showcase event, which the supported charities are invited to attend.


The first ever Lancaster University Colleges Charity Challenge in May 2017 saw 46 students make a difference to their chosen causes, with a further 300 students from the University’s nine colleges taking part.


Awareness and fund-raising activities have included a film night, car wash, treasure hunt, talent show, football match, food stalls, quizzes, games – and a student in a wheelbarrow with lots of baked beans.


In 2017, the Bowland College team supported the Lancaster & District Homeless Action Service by putting on an evening of dance.  In 2018, the Bowland team put on a charity football tournament to raise much-needed funds for the British Red Cross.


Provisional timetable


9th December: Information session and teams meet

16th January: Challenge launch

29th January: Progress and support drop-in

13th February: Progress and support drop in

30th April: Celebration showcase event


**Fundraising and awareness events to take place during weeks 11-18**


If you are interested in signing up for this challenge, email Lorna Harrison, your College Manager at




Hopefully at least one, if not all four of the challenges will have sparked your interest and we really look forward to seeing you all at the events!

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