From education to employment

The Global Student Challenge returns for 2020

The Chartered Institute of Building’s Global Student Challenge has now opened for registration for next year’s competition – and there are already more than a dozen teams signed up, from three continents.

Since 2014, the competition has challenged built environment students to run their own virtual construction company – with the leaders after six weeks of competition given the opportunity to compete in finals that attract talent from around the world. 

In this, the seventh year of the competition, the CIOB is seeking teams of full-time students studying either a Higher National Diploma (HND) or Bachelor’s degree in the built environment. The winning team will receive £2000 in prize money, along with access to a unique mentoring programme, with industry leaders offering advice and guidance to support the winning teams’ professional development. 

Caroline Gumble, CEO of the CIOB, said:

“The Global Student Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for those taking their first steps into a built environment career to demonstrate the skills they’ve acquired and their capabilities with strategic thinking and high-level decision making. It’s also a great chance to get valuable experience in navigating through project scenarios that mirror what can happen on site in the real world. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the challenge plays out next year.” 

There’s a “Foundation Years” stage, which kicks off in January. This is where competitors learn how to play the game, running a virtual construction company, testing out different strategies and refining tactics for the later stages. The CIOB advises that, based on performance in previous years, teams who do well in the competition are the ones who make the most of this stage. 

The “Early Years” stage starts a few weeks later. The stakes are higher as teams now play competitively with other teams around the world, making decisions that influence the success of their companies. 

More than 60 teams entered the 2019 competition, with the six teams scoring the most in the early rounds being invited to the finals as part of the CIOB’s annual Member’s Forum. In 2020 both events will once again be run alongside each other. 

The competition is only open to full-time students, although there is an allowance of one postgraduate member per team. Teams are normally made up of four members, but three is permissible. Costs for entry are listed online – for more information or to register, visit the Global Student Challenge web site.

Global Student Challenge 2020 timeline

  • Open for entry – now! 
  • The Foundation Years start – 20 January 2020 
  • The Early Years first submission – 26 February 2020 
  • Finalists announced – 7 April 2020 
  • Finals during the week of the CIOB Members’ Forum – week commencing 22 June 2020 (exact dates and venue to be confirmed)


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