Partner with us

The Global Challenge is open to Higher Education institutions all around the world. We invite you to partner with us to develop social impact leaders who collaborate with others to fully understand a challenge. Learn more about our approach.


Join a global movement

Be part of a movement which values understanding problems first, before proposing solutions. We believe this is the future of social impact education.


Build connections

Form relationships among staff and students from a range of other universities, all of whom are passionate about positive social change.


Create opportunities

Give students the chance to win cash prizes, tickets to the Skoll World Forum, and opportunities for further research and development in their chosen field.


How it works

Universities and Higher Education institutions are invited to run their own Challenge, with the support of tools provided by the Skoll Centre at the University of Oxford. Institutions running local challenges would align their branding to the Oxford Challenge, using resources provided.

One selected individual or team from each institution will be invited to the Global Challenge Final event held at the University of Oxford, UK, where teams from all over the world will pitch for the three top prizes.

Registration to participate in the 2017 competition is now closed. If you would like your institution to participate in the 2018 Challenge, please register your interest below.

Register for 2018 here


The Global Challenge is open to students registered for tertiary learning courses (undergraduates, graduates, doctoral students, and recent graduates who completed their studies within 12 months of the competition are welcome to join the Global Challenge). We do not distinguish between degree/diploma subjects and levels when marking submissions as we are looking for the strongest submissions, regardless of a student’s age or subject area, though each partner institution is welcome to set their own application requirements.

What is the cost?

This is a not-for-profit initiative. In order to cover core competition costs such as content development, final event costs, the costs to bring in high-calibre global judges, and sufficient prize money, participating institutions would be required to contribute £3,500. In addition, partner institutions would cover the travel costs of the individual or team that they send to the final in early 2017.

What support will partner universities receive?

The Skoll Centre will provide each partner with:

%  Tools to run their own local challenge (application forms, judging criteria, acceptance letters and certificates, a project plan, branding material, example fliers, etc).

%  The chance to join 2-3 webinars for Global Challenge Champions at universities around the world, to gather new ideas, answer questions, and share resources.

%  Website with learning tools and resources for all Global Challenge entrants globally, as well as videos/learning resources shared directly with the Global Challenge Champions in each university to share with their local entrants.

%  A two-day Global Challenge Final of the competition at the University of Oxford, UK, where a winning team or individual from each partner university will pitch their understanding of a problem to a set of global judges, and join a two-day programme of networking and learning with other students from around the world.

%  Tools for offering “Apprenticing with a Problem” funding to finalists. At Oxford, we make applications for this additional funding available to Global Challenge entrants. This is funding for the individuals or groups to apply to “apprentice with a problem” they care about, by doing a secondment, research project, or internship, perhaps with an organisation they identified during their Global Challenge Research. All tools for how this is done including application forms, funding agreements, etc. will be shared with university partners in case they might want to offer the same funding opportunity to their students.


Key Dates

15 September 2016

Register your institution

The Global Challenge is open to all Higher Education institutions around the world.

Once registered, we will invoice your institution for the £3,500 participation fee and will send you an information pack which includes guidance documents, recommended timelines and processes, judging criteria, and a editable poster for promotion to your students.

20 October –
20 December 2016

Student registration open

We will send you the link to an online form where students can register to participate in the Challenge. Students are required to submit their proposed topic and the names of the individual or team members wishing to participate.

The Oxford team will send you periodic updates of how many of your students have registered, and the final list of the names of the students who have registered. This gives you an opportunity to provide students with feedback on the suitability of their chosen topic so that any adjustments may be made before the final submissions deadline in late February.

27 February 2017

Final student submissions

Students must submit their final materials for review by your local judging committee through a channel of your choice. We ask that you share all applications with the Oxford team, for our records.

27 February –
30 March 2017

Shortlisting and selection by judges

Each institution may determine who will review and select their students’ entries to the Global Challenge – we recommend a panel of at least 3 experienced judges, including someone from the centre/department managing the Challenge at your institution. Your institution may wish to hold a local pitching event, or select the winner through review of submissions alone.

Once selected, your institution’s winning team or individual will be invited to the Global Challenge Final event in Oxford. You must inform us of the name of the finalist(s) by 30 March at the latest.

30 April – 1 May 2017

Oxford Global Challenge Final event

The final event will be held at the University of Oxford, UK, where teams from all over the world will pitch for the three top prizes.

Participants will benefit from personalised feedback from a panel of expert judges, who work in impact-focused organisations such as private foundations, impact investment firms and social enterprises. Furthermore, finalists will have the opportunity to build relationships with students from a range of other universities, all of whom are passionate about positive social change.

In addition to the final pitch event, finalists will attend a gala dinner in Oxford, where they will be addressed by an influential social impact leader. The Global Challenge Champion from the partner university or other university representative is welcome to join the winning team in Oxford.