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University Challenge

(52 Posts)
Newquay Tue 04-Apr-17 07:53:29

A programme I thoroughly enjoy but. . . . . .does anyone else see the gulf between those students who have obviously been privately educated and those who haven't?
Last night was classic-well deserved winners, for sure, but so obviously had access to subjects eg Latin and Greek gods that are just not touched on in state secondary schools

MawBroon Tue 04-Apr-17 08:02:03

Not necessarily. My DD did a "half GCSE" in Ancient Civilisations and I learned about them when I did Latin at my Scottish High School. Mind you, that was so long ago I think we all SPOKE Latin in those days! grin

mumofmadboys Tue 04-Apr-17 08:04:54

One of my sons did Latin and Greek at GCSE at a state school but I agree it is very unusual.

suzied Tue 04-Apr-17 08:21:25

I loved the previous semi final with the battle between Bobby Seagull and Eric Monkman. (Both from Cambridge colleges. )There was an article in Saturday's Guardian about their friendship. There was also a profile on Eric Monkman on Radio 4 which you can hear on iplayer. Looking forward to the final. My OH and I have a competition to see who can answer the most questions , it's usually about 6 each. sorry - not answering original point - a few state schools do Latin / Greek , my youngest DS got A* for GCSE at his state (grammar) school. The school didn't offer it at A level though, which he would have been able to do at an independent school.

travelsafar Tue 04-Apr-17 08:37:00

I love this program and think I do well if I can even understand the questions yet alone give an answer. Though it has been known on the rare occasion!!!

Cunco Tue 04-Apr-17 09:01:35

My wife and I watch this programme. She regularly racks up double-digit scores whereas I struggle to get one or two. It is one of my wife's favourite programmes. smile

yggdrasil Tue 04-Apr-17 09:31:23

it is the depth of science questions that amazes me.
But here is a prediction. The team that won the second semifinal last night so well with such a good score will not win the final.

hildajenniJ Tue 04-Apr-17 09:42:44

I have fallen in love with Eric Monkman from Wolfson College. I do hope they win, I'm really looking forward to the final. ☺☺

MawBroon Tue 04-Apr-17 09:49:31

Serious geeks from Balliol last night!
They know SO MUCH and I suspect Pope's (Australian) Latin accent was better than Paxman's grin
Monkman is SO intense but cute with it. The Irish boy beside him is much more laid back but also seriously bright .
The final should be amazing.

Welshwife Tue 04-Apr-17 10:01:10

We missed it last night as out visiting friends - normally a good hour with University Challange followed by Only Connect - who gets those right?

annodomini Tue 04-Apr-17 10:03:26

At an 'ordinary' Scottish academy, 60-odd years ago, I did Latin and Greek, also for a year at University; but I could only answer one of the questions about the relationships among the Greek gods last night. At home, I devoured Robert Graves books on the Greek gods (still in my bookcase), and now my teenage DGD loves to read anything to do with mythology - sadly no classics at her comp. The Aussie who answered the Latin questions is a Physics PhD student. In my 20s (or ever), I could not have understood, far less answered, questions on Physics!

TriciaF Tue 04-Apr-17 10:27:56

We watch it regularly, I can usually get the latin questions right, and french, but not greek.
But it does annoy me that it's nearly always the Oxford or Cambridge teams that manage to get to the final - and JP looks so pleased when they do well angry.
I was rooting for Edinburgh last night.

suzied Tue 04-Apr-17 10:56:34

Oxford and Cambridge are not just single Unis They have lots of colleges full of bright students and the geeky types that love quizzes, each college will be able to enter a team so more chance of one of them getting to the final . I think I read somewhere that Manchester had the most wins.

M0nica Tue 04-Apr-17 11:03:25

University Challenge is not about what is or is not taught in schools. It is about the knowledge the participants have acquired by their wider reading and endless curiosity.

The reason that it is mainly Oxbridge Colleges that win is because they are generally the top layer of ability in the country and have the above quality in spades

I write as someone who was on University Challenge many moons ago. As I remember we were involved in three contests, winning 2 and just losing the third. The teams we beat included an Oxbridge College. I was at what would now be called a Russell Group university and, to the best of my knowledge, neither I nor any of my team members were privately educated.

mcem Tue 04-Apr-17 11:14:43

The questions are so much more difficult at this stage!
Without sticking to the correct format I just give myself 5 or 10 for a correct answer!
I never win but very often come second!
Like anno I got only one correct in Greek gods question last night.
I did Higher Latin 50 years ago and 12 years ago my son gained Highers in Latin and Classical studies at the same school.
2 years ago when my friend the Latin teacher retired these subjects were dropped from the currriculum.

felice Tue 04-Apr-17 12:05:08

What makes people think the Edinburgh team were not privately educated. Edinburgh is a difficult University to gain entry to. I know as a few friends children have tried and failed. All privately schooled here.
If the Edinburgh team were scrubbed and polished would the comments on here be the same.

Sar53 Tue 04-Apr-17 12:33:55

My OH and I watch every week. It's one of my 'must watch' programmes. We do occasionally get a question or two correct, and very proud we are too !!
The amount of knowledge the teams have is amazing. Looking forward to the final.

nigglynellie Tue 04-Apr-17 18:57:09

DH and I love U.C, we don't get many questions right, although last night I did get William 1Vth, Nelsons best man at his wedding to Fanny Nisbet! and I did get William Pitt, Earl of Chatham the other week!!! The team's are so young and SO clever!!

Stansgran Tue 04-Apr-17 20:22:48

I hate it when they have aging PhD students who have had time and should be much cleverer.

Teetime Tue 04-Apr-17 20:29:20

I love UC its my favourite programme and Jeremy is a God. I manage well in the first few rounds but I'm a physicist or a mathematician. I'm sure this programme has taught me a lot and I'm in awe of the intellects we see there.

Cunco Tue 04-Apr-17 22:18:36

Welshwife: You may have missed a few University Challenges. Sadly, 'Only Connect' has been shifted from its old Monday slot to Fridays. Understandably, quiz fans were not pleased when it happened, goodness knows why the BBC did it.

suzied Wed 05-Apr-17 06:27:21

Apparently Eric Monkman has caused a twittter storm with his fans ! I think they're calling it "Monkmania"!

Anya Wed 05-Apr-17 06:47:49

M0nica I totally agree that it's not just about what is or is not taught in schools. Many of these outstanding students are answering questions way outside their own specialist subjects.

I find myself dredging up snippets of knowledge from 50+ years ago and thinking 'where did that come from?' but also, happily, answering questions from more recent reading etc..

Day6 Wed 05-Apr-17 22:58:52

I really enjoy UC even though I can only answer a few questions. I am in awe of the intellectual capacity of the contestants. As someone has already mentioned I think a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning is what takes these students to the best universities.

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. All teachers will know that to be true of their students. The ones who drink from the pool tend to go far.

I am watching this series on catch-up and I can see why Monkman has been a talking point. Such intensity, but that can be said of most contestants. Fascinating stuff.

Cunco Wed 05-Apr-17 23:26:28

Learning is obviously important but so too is memory and the speed of understanding the question and accessing the information. In the later rounds, some contestants have stood out because they are not only well-read but so quick. I wonder if their brains are, in some fundamental way, different from the rest of us.

At the other end of the scale, my memory is failing and information that once I knew on, say, History, is no longer accessible. Information on, say, Physics was never there so it is not an issue.