About the Union

The Cambridge Union Society is proud of its status as the world's oldest and most prestigious student debating society, and is equally proud to be a registered charity. The Society numbers approximately 6,000 resident members currently attending the University of Cambridge or Anglia Ruskin University, and over 60,000 non-resident members who formerly attended these institutions. 

Our historic defence of free speech and debate along with the ongoing belief in participatory democracy commits our members to promoting these values in the wider community - particularly in schools, universities and in local communities throughout UK and abroad. We therefore organise and participate in domestic and international debating events, and have gained international recognition for both the success and scope of our competitive debating programme.

Our Thursday evening debates, distinct and separate from our competitive debating programme, serve to engage and challenge the presumptions and prejudices of a wide range of ideas, opinions and beliefs through the use of rational argument and credible intellectual exchange, while our speaker events provide a forum for young people to challenge and learn from public figures from a variety of backgrounds. We are committed to making our society as inclusive as possible; we open many events to the wider public, and our officers and members come from a diverse selection of social, political and ethnic backgrounds.