Next generation of construction leaders face off in Hong Kong
Students acting as a board of directors for a virtual construction company, in a simulated environment, have been fighting it out over six weeks of intensive competition to reach the final of this year’s Global Student Challenge, run by the Chartered Institute of Building.
Over 50 teams from universities all over the world entered the competition, which began back in March. The six teams to reach the finals, which will be held in Hong Kong from the 9 – 15 July, represent a truly global mix; they are: Cali Construction (Glasgow Caledonian University), BRE Team 4 (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Oath Keeper (Chongqing University), Prestige Worldwide (University of Cape Town), Bond Agents (Bond University) and AGBA (Deakin University). Of those, only Glasgow Caledonian University and Deakin University have previously been represented in the final.
The challenge utilises software developed by Loughborough University where players take decisions on staffing levels, estimating and bidding, managing cash flow and capital and seeking investment opportunities. It is seen by the industry as an opportunity for university students to learn real skills in contract management, teamwork and leadership. Teams consist of 4 people who each take on a specific job role such as finance director, construction director or chief executive.
The winning team receives £2,000 in prize money along with access to mentoring from industry leaders who will offer advice and guidance on their future careers and professional development.
Right from the start team Cali Constriction took an early lead which was briefly taken from them before they regained it the following week. In the final round of competition, Oath Keeper leapt an impressive five places to third place and in doing so secured their position in the final.
Last year’s challenge was won by a team from Glasgow Caledonian University. Loughborough University finished second, while the University of Hong Kong came third. The other three finalists were all from Australia: University of Newcastle; Curtin University; and Deakin University.
Dale Mason, one of the members of the 2015 winning team from Glasgow said: “The best thing about this competition is the business learning side. It’s a massive learning curve, seeing things not just in terms of calculations and equations, but in terms of the outcomes of your decisions. The hardest thing has been learning diplomacy skills and finding a way to come to an agreement – team working – it sounds easy but it is quite difficult at times.”
You can find live updates and further information online at http://gsc.ciob.org.
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The Global Student Challenge opens for 2021 on 1 December 2020.