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25 June 2021

War Studies Students win interdepartmental challenge

Students from the Department of War Studies scooped top prize to win the first interdepartmental challenge.

Kissinger Crew - Chloe, Harry and Maximiliaan

Students from the Department of War Studies scooped top prize as they demonstrated creativity, problem-solving and cultural capital to win the first interdepartmental challenge against the School of Politics and Economics.

As the intense inaugural student challenge concluded the judging panel announced the Kissinger’s Crew (Chloe Hatton, Harry Winterbottom and Maximiliaan Peeters) as the winners after they came first in two of the three competition challenges. 

The team’s work during the competition was described as ‘thoughtful, creative, and novel’ by the judging panel. Representing the Department of War Studies, Chloe, Harry and Maximiliaan collected the top prize of £350.


The challenge was a great opportunity to apply skills I’ve gained during my Master’s at King’s and I also made some great friends while participating.

Maximiliaan Peeters, Kissinger's Crew

The two teams declared as the runners-up, Margaux Muchachas (Freya Thorner and Sophia Chaudhry, SPE) and Michael Sandel’s Voice Fan Club (Francois de Navacelle and Monica Richards, SPE) also shared a cash prize.

Throughout the competition, teams were judged for their originality, ability to produce a compelling argument, presentation skills, creativity and rationale.

The judging panel was made up of a variety of experts, including academics from across the university, journalists, civil servants, and think tank members.

Nick Reynolds, BBC Monitoring, one of the judges for the competition, commented on how much he enjoyed being a part of it all

I was delighted to be a judge in the DWS vs SPE challenge and really enjoyed the high standard of entries. BBC Monitoring has a great relationship with Kings which I hope will develop even further.

Nick Reynolds, BBC Monitoring

Anita Nergaard, the Norwegian Ambassador to Singapore also joined the judging panel and congratulated all teams for their efforts and ingenuity.

I was thoroughly impressed with the creativity, originality and engagement demonstrated by all teams. A big congratulations to the top teams for their exceptional verve and ingenuity. Well done – and please consider a career in government!

Anita Nergaard, Norwegian Ambassador to Singapore

The competition, which began last December, was comprised of three challenges; during the first challenge students were asked to write or produce a news report, in the second challenge teams were required to come up with a communications plan, and in the final task teams were asked to research and put together a policy pitch focussed on the gender pay gap.

With each challenge scores were added together to produce a shortlist and a winner for each challenge was announced.

After all three challenges were completed, the shortlisted submissions were ranked and the team with this highest total points was announced as the overall winner.

My favourite of the challenges was producing a social media campaign. My team designed a campaign that touched on a hindrance to lockdown for young adults that the government has overlooked.   I also had tremendous fun with the news report task. For this challenge my team looked at the ending of child marriage in Saudi Arabia. We produced a video to explain the significance of this reform. 

Maximiliaan Peeters, Kissinger's Crew