A STUDENT from West Yorkshire has died on a University of York study trip to Africa, aged 20.

Tributes have been paid to biology undergraduate Caitlin Cole, who died in Tanzania on September 24.

An official at the Bradford Coroner’s office said that the coroner was investigating Caitlin’s death to ascertain whether it should go forward to an inquest.

Caitlin’s family said in an obituary notice that Caitlin, understood to be from Batley, was the “precious and much loved daughter of Nick and Colette Cole, beloved granddaughter of Maureen and Michael McManus and Margaret Cole, also a dearly loved niece, cousin and friend”.

They said Requiem Mass would be celebrated at St Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds, at 1.30pm on Thursday, October 24, followed by interment in Birstall Churchyard. They added that Colette and Nick were requesting donations to be made in lieu of flowers for a tree planting project in Caitlin’s memory, and donations could be made to the Dewsbury firm of funeral directors, George Brooke Ltd.

Professor Jennifer Potts, head of the University of York’s biology department, said everyone in the department was “deeply saddened” by the news of her death.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with Caitlin’s family and friends at this very sad time.”

She said that this was the fourth field trip to Tanzania to have been undertaken by staff and students in the biology department.

“A group of undergraduate students were studying tropical ecology and conservation in Northern Tanzania,” she said.

“Following Caitlin’s tragic death, the students decided to remain as a group in Tanzania for the last few days of the trip where they received appropriate support.

“Since their return, the university has provided access to continued support and counselling.”

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said its staff were offering support to Caitlin’s family, but did not comment on the circumstances surrounding her death.