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Competition: Changing Perceptions Challenge 2021

How can we communicate the positive economic impacts of immigration to the UK public?

The UK Data Service, in association with Data Impact Fellow, Ben Brindle, is pleased to announce the launch of the Changing Perceptions Challenge, an exciting opportunity for sixth form and college students to engage with data-driven research and think creatively about changing public perceptions of immigration and the economy.

Opinion polls in recent years have consistently found that the UK public believes immigration has a negative impact on the economy, their job opportunities and their wages. Economic research, on the other hand, shows that, if anything, immigration tends to have a positive impact on local economies.

This competition is all about changing public attitudes by communicating the findings of economic research in an exciting and engaging way. We are asking students to compare public and media attitudes to immigration with the findings of data-driven research, and then to design a campaign to improve public understanding of the economic impact of immigration.

The competition is open to sixth form and college students in the UK.

Ben Brindle, who thought up the competition, says:

“I’m delighted that the Changing Perceptions Challenge has launched. Immigration has shaped our society in so many ways, but as I’ve found in my doctoral research on the economic impact of immigration, all too often public and media attitudes are at odds with the findings of academic research. This competition is an exciting opportunity for students to think creatively about how to bridge this gap and ensure that research has a real-world impact.”

What will students gain from entering the competition?

By entering, students will have the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and communication skills, and to use them to tackle a real-world question being asked by researchers today. These transferrable skills will enhance their CV or UCAS form, and encourage greater understanding of key debates surrounding immigration and the economy.

Entries will be judged by experts in the field, and the winner will have the chance to publish their entry on the UK Data Service Data Impact blog.

There will also be prizes! The winner will receive £200 in book tokens, to be split evenly with their school or college, and the runners-up will win £100 in book tokens, again to be split evenly with their school or college.

How to enter

Full details on how to enter, along with resources to support students with their entries, are available on the UK Data Service website.

*Please note, the deadline has been extended.*

The deadline for entries is now 23:59 on Sunday 3 April 2022.

Winners will be announced in Spring 2022.