• Auckland and Otago battling it out in the new series of University Challenge. Photo credit: The Dominion PostAuckland and Otago battling it out in the new series of University Challenge. Photo credit: The Dominion Post

University Challenge back on NZ screens after 25 years

University Challenge is a television staple in the UK, with Jeremy Paxman at the helm since 1994, but did you know that there was also a New Zealand version of the show until 1989?   University Challenge New Zealand was on air each year from 1976 until 1989, pitching the New Zealand Universities against each other in a round-robin style contest.

Production company Cue TV has recently acquired the rights to the show and it will be appearing back on NZ screens this weekend, presented by Tom Conroy.  In the new version of the series, the teams will be made up of five members from each university.  Teams will compete against two randomly selected opponents in the first round, before the highest achieving teams go through to the semi-finals and final round of the contest.

All eight current New Zealand universities will take part, the University of Auckland, AUT University, the University of Waikato, Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Canterbury, Lincoln University and the University of Otago.  This will be the first time that AUT University has competed in the quiz show, others such as the University of Otago will be hoping to maintain their game and add to their previous six wins.

The series has already been filmed in the ‘neutral’ town of Invercargill during July, but the contestants have been sworn to secrecy about who wins!  University Challenge (New Zealand) will be screened on the NZ channel Prime at 11.30am on Saturday, but we’ve no doubt that it will be available online if you are interested in catching up before heading off to study there yourself.  Contact Study Options if you want to study at university in New Zealand.

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