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Strathclyde reaches quarter-finals of University Challenge

Strathclyde's University Challenge team with host Jeremy Paxman at their first round match

A team of University of Strathclyde students has qualified for the quarter-finals of BBC Two quiz show University Challenge, after winning their second round contest. 

The students won 135-100 against four-time champions the University of Manchester in the match, televised on Monday 9 November. They have become the first Strathclyde team to reach this stage of the competition.

They displayed their knowledge of subjects including geography, medical terms, value added tax and plant tissues as they faced the questions from quizmaster Jeremy Paxman.

They established an early lead which they held on to for most of the match and opened up a convincing lead by the end. Team members were separated by panels to maintain COVID-19 distancing regulations. 

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. Their reserve was Politics, Philosophy and Economics student Ewan McGregor.         

Jim said: “We’re really pleased to have secured Strathclyde’s first ever quarter finals place in University Challenge. The team put in a good performance with some really strong buzzes from Cameron and Tom, especially against such formidable opposition as the team from Manchester.

“We’re really looking forward to the quarter-finals now, though if the difficulty of those questions is anything to go by, we’ll have to get our heads in the books now! We’d also recommend trying out for next series’ team to all Strathy students; it’s been an absolute blast and a highlight to all of our times at Strathclyde.”  

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.