Construction Students Prepare for a Globetrotting Lifestyle

In the construction simulation game MERIT, participants take the role of company directors. To get the full flavor of the perks and pressure of the director lifestyle, finalists in the Global Student Challenge (which is based on MERIT) were provided with director-style accommodation for the play-offs of the CIOB funded challenge in Hong Kong.


Students from Africa, Australia, China, Hong Kong and Scotland were flown to the Grand Hyatt on Hong Kong Island’s prestigious waterfront to fight out the tense closing stages of the game that predicts the students most likely to succeed in the global construction industry.


Wrestling with estimating, scheduling, bidding and maintaining their share price helps students get the feel of the modern construction industry where software and people management skills are as important as understanding of construction techniques. And it’s the people-management skills which often make the difference between success and failure even in the small, four person teams. When the tension really begins to hit in the last rounds, tempers can get very frayed.


Perhaps this year, the students from Bond University in Australia had the edge as their tutor is also a specialist in psychology who has written papers on the stress effects of IVF. However, in the end the winners were once again Glasgow Caledonian university, whose discipline and attention to checking their calculations contributed to their victory. However, this is an event where all the finalists can really feel themselves to be winners. Global Student Challenge provides access to the leaders of the industry and this year, also allowed students to participated in debates which will set the future of construction management and CIOB as its representative body.


For the tutors there’s a lot riding on reaching the finals, several have had teams reach the finals in several consecutive years and Hong Kong’s best hotels are becoming their home from home.


Global Student Challenge is one of the key ways CIOB identifies the very best teaching institutions in construction management and the construction leaders of the future. Participation is open to teams of four undergraduate students and, of course, their tutor. Multiple teams may enter from universities and colleges but only one team per college will be put through to the finals.
If you would like to join them next year check out the Global Student Challenge pages on the CIOB website at Next year’s competition will open to register this winter with the familiarisation period and heats starting in early 2017.