UEL set to make University Challenge debut

The UEL team with host Jeremy Paxman on University Challenge

The UEL team with host Jeremy Paxman on University Challenge - Credit: Kiera Hay

University of East London students will be hoping for a streak of beginner’s luck on Monday when they appear on BBC Two quiz show University Challenge.

It is the first time the university has successfully got a team onto the show, beating 102 other institutions across the UK.

The chosen 28 teams include six Cambridge and five Oxford colleges. UEL is the only university founded post-1992 in this year’s series.

The quartet will be up against University of Glasgow students in the final first-round match of the series, with host Jeremy Paxman asking the questions.

The team will be captained by PhD student Jerushah Jardine, who hopes to lead the first ‘new university’ team to victory.

She is joined by librarian and part-time student Kelly Travers, civil engineering student Christopher Ducklin and English literature undergraduate Rachel Evans.

All four team members are mature students, with an average age of 41, and Jerushah hopes their broad range of life experiences will give them an advantage.

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“We’ve got life experience behind us, and I think that’s one of our best assets,” said Jerushah.

“We’ve achieved our first goal, which was to become the first UEL team to be on the show.

“We’d really like to be the first ‘new university’ team to win the show but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

The team were chosen after a tough audition at the South Bank Studios in Waterloo which included a 40-question general knowledge test and a team interview.

University Challenge airs on BBC Two at 8pm on Monday.