App developers invited to use open data to enhance the student journey

App developers invited to use open data to enhance the student journey

Universities UK in partnership with the Open Data Institute and digital technologies charity Jisc are launching a challenge to developers in universities and the digital industries to produce a demo of a mobile app that uses open data to help university students through their learning journey.

The challenge will culminate in an “Open data mashup day: enhancing the student journey” on 17 November at Woburn House in central London. On the day, challenge finalists will rapidly develop their ideas into demo visualisations and pitch to a panel of judges. The winning team will be be eligible to receive £5,000 worth of support from Jisc to develop the idea into a prototype app.

The judges will be looking for demo of a digital service that helps university students navigate key points in their ‘student journey’, such as choosing a course, finding accommodation or searching for a work placement.

Applicants are invited to submit a short video and description of their ideas to the Elevator website from Monday 28 September. Students and staff will be able to vote on the ideas and a short list of finalists will be selected to participate on the mashup day. To be successful, ideas will not only have to show that they enhance the student journey, they must also demonstrate effective use of open data to provide their intended service.

Ian Powling, Digital Programmes Lead at Universities UK, says: “We know that higher education is a data-rich sector and we are hoping that this challenge will highlight the opportunities open data offers to create benefits for students and universities.”

University staff who wish to learn more about open data and get a taste of how innovative data-driven products are born are invited to register to attend the open data mashup day.

For more information about the challenge, see the entry and judging criteria, contact Ian Powling on