logoUniversitas 21 (U21) and PwC, two globally focused organisations, are working together to create mutually beneficial links between U21’s global student groups and PwC’s top clients across its international network of companies.

The PwC Innovation Challenge asks postgraduate students (coursework and research) to prepare a 3-minute video response to a challenge posed by international consulting firm PwC on a topic faced by the international workforce for the chance to win a tailored employability experience and trip to Dubai.

UQ’s top ranked videos will receive assistance from the Student Employability Centre to refine their video response and reshoot their video with professional quality. The final video will be submitted to Universitas 21 (U21) for judging.

Challenge question

We are living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work; automation and 'thinking machines' are replacing human tasks, changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people. But what will the future look like? PwC has developed four scenarios in their 'Workforce of the Future' study: a Red World where innovation rules; a Blue World where corporate is king; a Green World where companies care, and a Yellow World where humans come first.

Assuming you find yourself on a journey that looks like it ends in a ‘Red World’ scenario (where Innovation Rules), what are the pros and cons for you? What skills will be important for individuals to thrive in this world, and how do you plan on adapting to it?

Program details

Students can submit their response to the challenge in any video format, such as a mobile phone recording.

Only one slide can be used during the presentation. Presentations are to be spoken word only, and no additional electronic media (e.g. sound or video files) are permitted.

Three entrants from UQ will be chosen to compete against the other universities in our group. These selected students will work with the Student Employability Centre to refine and reshoot their video.

Students at U21 member universities will compete in three groups and one winner will be chosen in each one of the three groups. UQ will compete in the group with:



University of Melbourne


University of New South Wales


University of Auckland

New Zealand

Fudan University

People’s Republic of China

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

People’s Republic of China

Waseda University


University of Delhi


Confidentiality and intellectual property

Students are warned to avoid any breach of intellectual property in their entry videos (for example, if a student refers to research under completion). The competition regulations for entries will, inter alia, contain a statement that students take responsibility to check that their entries contain no reference to the intellectual property of another person and that they agree that their entries can be made public. When a student submits an entry for the competition the entry process will specify that, by doing so, competitors agree to uphold these competition regulations.

Judging criteria

Winning candidates will be selected on:

Comprehension and content

  • Did the presenter give a clear and persuasive response to the question? i.e. familiarity with the background material, a coherent set of key considerations.
  • Were any conclusions and recommendations clear and easy to follow?
  • Did the speaker provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation (or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect and/or was the presentation rushed)?

Engagement and communication

  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for the challenge and genuine interest in the problem?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain your attention? (e.g. sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; ability to maintain a steady pace and confident stance)
  • Did a PowerPoint slide (if used) enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?
  • Did the presentation make you want to know more from this student, did you consider them to have good employability potential?


The overall winner in each group will be awarded a tailored employability experience sponsored by PwC. As the competition is open to students in any discipline, the experience will be tailored to the student’s individual career development needs. 

The main prize will be a week-long trip to Dubai, valued at $3000. The visit is expected to take place preferably in early September 2018.

Runner-up prizes may include:

  • employment-focused opportunities
  • exclusive training
  • job preparation coaching

As some of the prizes may involve time in a company undertaking training, internships, etc., students who enter the competition should ensure that they are in a position to take up any such workplace opportunities within a reasonable time period.

Eligibility criteria

All enrolled postgraduate students (postgraduate coursework or higher degree research) are eligible to submit an entry for the competition.

Students from any discipline, school, faculty and institute at UQ are eligible to compete. Students on joint PhDs between two U21 members are also eligible. 

There is no restriction on age or citizenship status, so all postgraduate students at UQ are encouraged to submit an entry. 

How to apply

Submit a simple 3-minute video in English by Wednesday, 16 May 2018. Please email global.engagement@uq.edu.au prior to the deadline to arrange how to submit your video.

The Student Employability Centre will assist selected students to refine and reshoot their video between 17 and 24 May 2018.

The final video submission is due to U21 by Friday, 25 May 2018.

Need more information

Please contact Heidi Benjaminson on 3346 9924 or email global.engagement@uq.edu.au