QUIZ: Guess where these University Challenge teams go to uni
There’s probably not that much separating Oxbridge-awkward and Metropolitan-awkward
I don’t think there’s a better artefact of the modern British psyche than University Challenge. Participants are objectively judged purely on their intellectual merits, but we don’t really watch it for that, do we? What the deliberately unflattering lights of the BBC studio do is present the real spectacle we’ve tuned in for: the great British past-time of superficially judging others.
We like to cling onto the notion that Universities are educational institutions, but these days they’re a better indicator of social hierarchy, and hence class. We like to look up to the Oxbridge-educated stereotypes of Stephen Fry on twitter and blame our New Labour rooted failures in the polytechnics.
But what’s most interesting is how much of a social leveller it is. Oxbridge and Poly become difficultly close. Has that awkwardly dressed man spent too much time immersed in Rousseau to facilitate an understanding of fashion and modern trends, or is his brain just not capable of comprehending such a concept?
These people are very obviously all highly intelligent, but there’s something else hidden behind that armour of knowledge; a few social chinks that our piercing arrows of judgement are just able to find.
Is this all bullshit? Find out for yourself.
It’s quite simple. When you turn over your papers, you’ll find four students in front of that famous blue background, and three universities from different ranges of the university spectrum below. Judge away, and don’t forget to hand in your papers at the end to see how well you did.