What’s it all about?

An unparalleled learning opportunity to apply what you learn in the lecture theatre to the real-world scenario of running your very own virtual construction company.

How the game works

The competition utilises MERIT, an online game which simulates the management of a construction company.

You’ll enter as a team of four, and you’ll be tasked with managing your own virtual construction company.

How you organise your team is up to you – but we recommend you assign a role to each team member. These roles could include a Financial Manager, Overheads Manager, Construction Manager and Estimating Manager, each with their own responsibilities.

During the game, your team will be given data and graphs to help you analyse company performance, including client information, value of contracts, company financials, share price, investments, turnover, profit, value, overheads, staff & agency, capacity and training costs.

There are six weekly rounds in the Early Years stage of the competition. Your team will be scored each week against Key Performance Indicators, including Gross Profit to Turnover ratio, Operating Profit to Turnover ratio, Company Value, Share Price and Client Satisfaction. This score will determine your position with the overall competition rankings – and it’ll be the top six teams who become our finalists!

The Four Stages of Competition

Phase One

Registration is perhaps the most important part of the competition! You’ll need to register your team in order to access the MERIT software.

Even more important, you’ll need to decide who your team mates will be. Full eligibility criteria can be found here.

Phase Two

We call this stage of competition ‘The Foundation Years’ because it’s all about getting to grips with the game mechanics and refining your team strategy.

The teams that do best in the competition take full advantage of this stage!

This phase of competition begins on the 31 January 2022.


Phase Three

This is when things start to get real.

On the 23 February 2022 the first round of data will be released to all teams and you’ll have a week to make your decisions and submit them for scoring.

After each round you’ll get a score and you’ll be ranked against other teams based on this. We call this stage ‘The Early Years’ as you begin to get your virtual construction company off the ground.

In total, you’ll do this six times over six rounds of competition.

 Phase Four

The top six teams will be announced April 2022. Due to the on-going situation with COVID-19, the top six teams will be invited to take place in a virtual final week commencing 20 June 2022 (for two weeks).

The finals will be held alongside CIOB Members’ Forum week commencing 27 June 2022 (destination will be confirmed at a later date).

If we are not able to travel, the finals will be run in a virtual format week commencing 20 June 2022 (for 2 weeks).


When is Finals Week?

The 2021 Global Student Challenge Finals will happen virtually alongside the 2021 CIOB Members’ Forum. The competition begins on 19 June 2021 and will conclude on the 25 June 2021 when we will announce our 2021 Champions.

You can follow along with the results of the 2021 Global Student Challenge finals here. 


The Global Student Challenge Finals Week

The Global Student Challenge Finals week will be held alongside the CIOB’s Members’ Forum – an annual gathering of the world’s most senior construction professionals to discuss the biggest issues our industry faces.

There are prizes on offer too

How many teams can my University enter?

A University can enter up to five teams into the competition, but only one of those teams can represent the University in the Finals.

How much are the entry fees?

One team – £375

Two teams – £700

Three teams – £950

Four teams – £1100

Five teams – £1125

VAT applies to teams from Universities based in the UK or EU.


If I took part in GSC before, can I enter again?

Yes, unless you were part of a team which reached the finals in a previous year’s challenge. Those involved in teams that did not reach the finals are welcome to compete again.


Do I need to be a CIOB Student member to take part?

Membership of the Chartered Institute of Building is not required to partake in Global Student Challenge, but if you’re not a member we certainly encourage you to become one! You can view our student membership options here.

What are the entry criteria?

Full entry criteria can be found here.