The University of Strathclyde has recorded its third win of the 2020-21 series of the BBC’s University Challenge, after defeating Birkbeck, University of London 135-105.
The team pulled back after their opponents had established an early lead and they remained ahead or level until the gong. In the course of the match, they displayed their knowledge of subjects including tennis champions, capital cities, the art of Tracey Emin and Japanese history.
Strathclyde and Birkbeck lost their first quarter-final matches but their contest against each other offered, in the words of host Jeremy Paxman, the prize of “one last chance to stay in the game.” Strathclyde will finally reach the semi-finals if they win their next match.
The Strathclyde team comprised: captain Jim Whittle, studying for a PhD in Electrical Power Systems; Cameron Welsh, studying for an MSc in Applied Statistics; David Curran, studying for an MEng in Civil Engineering, and Tom Starr-Marshall, studying for a PhD in Speech and Language Therapy.
The win over Birkbeck, televised on Monday 1 March, follows earlier victories over Imperial College London and four-time champions the University of Manchester. This is the first time a Strathclyde team has reached the quarter-finals of the competition.
Team members were separated by panels on the programme to maintain COVID-19 distancing regulations.
The team was selected from students with the highest scores on tests hosted by the University of Strathclyde Students' Union. The producers then chose Strathclyde as one of only 28 teams to reach the televised stages.