The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has won this year's Joint University Debating Championship. The HKUST team clashed with the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU) in the final. The topic was 'Local universities fail to address the needs of the present society'. Kyle Farh Kai-hon, Madhu Motwani, Roger Lee Chak-man and Khyati Jhaveri had to argue for the motion despite themselves being products of a local university. Ms Jhaveri, a second-year business student who was named joint best speaker, said: 'We didn't just argue, but collected substantial amounts of material to support our arguments.' In support of the points they made, they quoted from articles in the South China Morning Post, international magazines Asiaweek and the Far Eastern Economic Review, and the University Grant Committee's review of Hong Kong's tertiary institutions. That report says employers complain about declining language proficiency and abilities of university students. It admits local universities fail to address the needs of society and lag behind the expectations of company bosses. The CU team countered by arguing that universities were addressing these problems. Janet Lai, a Canadian exchange student at CU, said: 'Each university is a unique entity. Each has a role to play. 'So there are design and hotel catering courses at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, dentists and lawyers are trained at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), while HKUST majors in scientific and technological development. 'They are addressing society's need for different professions and skills.' Ms Lai was the other joint best speaker. The judges were academics Alice Lee Suet-ching of HKU, Krish Chandran of PolyU, and Arthur Chung Ka-lai of the City University of Hong Kong. HKUST won last year's inaugural championship.