Why the verb connaître for “to meet”
Connaître means "to know", but in the sense of "to be acquainted with". When used in the passé composé, the implication is that this is the point at which you became acquainted. So a more literal translation would be: "I became acquainted with Leila at university", but it's obviously more natural just to say "I met".
Exactly as Alan has explained (faire la connaissance) "make the acquaintance of" or "get to know" etc
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