Smith, 22, studied History at St John’s, OxfordFacebook

An Oxford undergraduate has died following the first night of the Varsity ski trip.

He was named by The Times as Matt Smith, a 22-year-old third-year History student at St John’s, Oxford. Smith was reportedly found unconscious by his friends in an apartment at the Val-Thorens ski resort yesterday. After the alarm was raised at 8am local time, emergency workers attempted to revive him from cardio-respiratory arrest, but were unsuccessful.

Smith is said to have been to a party after arriving via coach on Saturday. French and Swiss media say that an investigation has been launched, and that an autopsy will be carried out to establish the cause of death.

Smith was a founding member of the Varsity surf trip, which took place in Moilets, France, this year. He was also a college rep for the Oxford University Ski and Snowboard Club (OUSSC), and was a qualified snowboard instructor.

A spokesperson for St John’s College, Oxford, said: “We would like to express our deep sadness at the tragic death and send our condolences to his family and friends.”

Val-Thorens is currently playing host to the Varsity Trip, a joint Oxford-Cambridge skiing trip which is attended by thousands of students from the two universities. The trip is running from the 3rd–10th of December. Coaches set off on Friday afternoon, and arrived on Saturday afternoon. Local gendarmes told French media that many students began drinking shortly after arriving.

A spokesperson for the FCO said: “We are supporting the family of a British national who died on 4 December.”

Speaking to Varsity, a spokesperson for NUCO Travel, which organises the trip, said:Sadly one of our passengers passed away on Sunday 4th December 2016. At this time, to respect their family’s and friends’ privacy, we will not be commenting further.”

Local police told Varsity that they would not give further comment until their investigation is completed.

This story will be updated with more information as we receive it. If you are in Val-Thorens and have any information, please contact the Varsity News team via