The University of St Andrews’ team has progressed to the second round of the BBC show University Challenge, after defeating Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, 140 points to 120.
This year’s representative team includes Alec Csukai (Undergraduate), Simon Gibbons (Masters Program), Sofya Anisimova (PHD) and captain Joseph Cryan (Undergraduate).
Mr Cryan commented on his experience on the show. He said: “I feel absolutely honoured to have undergone everything with my teammates, we all got on very well and I think we showed a very good side of St Andrews with a diverse group of educational backgrounds, ages and life experiences! I’m so impressed with everyone and how we managed to work around five, very different, schedules. I loved working with everyone, be that organising practice sessions, meeting up for a casual meal at peoples’ houses or going down to Edinburgh for our quiz and interview with the producers. We even got in contact with last year’s team to meet up, have tea together and watch the latest episode of the programme!”
He added, “As far as being in the studio is concerned, the experience of going down to Manchester was lovely as my part of my family hails from Salford (where the programme is now recorded). It’s rather surreal to walk into the studio having seen it so many times but the production team eases you into the recording very kindly. Nonetheless, the nerves I felt at the moment the lights went down and the theme music started to play are indescribable!
The University of St Andrews became the first Scottish institute to take out the title in 1982. They were runners up to University of Dundee in 1984, and since then have not managed to make the finals.
Illustration: Lauren McAndrew