The new presenter of the programme, which pits students against teams of four at rival universities and colleges with questions such as “starters for 10”, will be announced later this week, the BBC said.
First broadcast in 1962, hosted by Bamber Gascoigne, University Challenge is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year as Britain’s longest-running TV quiz show.
To mark the occasion, a special documentary will be broadcast on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on Monday 29 August at 9pm.
Born in Leeds, Paxman began his career in 1972 with the BBC Graduate Trainee Program, working for local radio and reporting on the Troubles in Belfast.
Shortly after moving to London in 1977, he transferred from Tonight to the research flagship Panorama, before appearing on the Six O’Clock News and BBC One’s Breakfast Time.
In 1989, he became the host of Newsnight, a position he held until June 2014, during which he interviewed high-profile figures from politics and culture.
After 25 years of parting ways, Mr Paxman presented a Newsnight program including an interview with the then Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, as they both rode a tandem bike.
Earlier this month, ITV announced a documentary in which Mr. Paxman will reflect on his Parkinson’s diagnosis and meet with those at the forefront of the research.