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.

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.

Entry for the competition will open on the 5 November 2019 and close on the 26 February 2020.

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 20 January 2020.


Phase Three

This is when things start to get real.

On the 26 February 2020 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 ranking teams after the Early Years will be announced as our finalists on the 7 April 2020, and proceed forward to the last stage of the competition: The Finals.

Before the finals we’ll re-open the foundation years phase for finalist teams to get some further practice and strategising time in.

There’s also some rule changes and you’ll no longer have the ‘luxury’ of a whole week to make decisions – but you’ll have to wait until the finals to find out the full details!

The finals week is scheduled to be held in June 2020.

Read more about how the finals will run here.


The Finals Week

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

For the top six teams after the Early Years phase of the competition, the CIOB will cover the cost of getting both your team and a tutor to the finals, as well as food and accommodation. Just remember to bring your laptop!


    Members’ Forum 2020

    SYDNEY, JUNE 2020

    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.

    Contact Us

    The Chartered Institute of Building

    +44 (0) 1344 630 700