Changing Perceptions Challenge 2021

A newspaper with immigration as the headline

Calling all sixth form and college students in the UK!

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. How can we help change public attitudes by communicating these findings in an exciting and engaging way?

The challenge

This competition asks you to compare public and media attitudes to immigration with the latest findings of data-driven academic research, and then to design a campaign to improve public understanding of the economic impacts of immigration.

Entries will be judged by experts in the field, and we plan to publish the winning entry on the UK Data Service’s Data Impact blog. There will also be prizes!

The competition was devised by PhD student and Data Impact Fellow, Ben Brindle, and is being run with support from the UK Data Service Impact team.

You can follow the competition on Twitter @UKDSImpact and #ChangingPerceptionsChallenge.

What is the UK Data Service and why are we supporting this competition?

The UK Data Service is a government-funded ‘one stop shop’ for high-quality data about society, economics and populations. We make data available to researchers and analysts not only in further and higher education, but also in the voluntary and charity sector, to thinktanks and policy organisations, and to local and national government. It is a key part of our work to identify, evidence and promote how the data in our collection is used to create real-world impact and public benefit.

As part of our work, we support the development of new ideas for creating and demonstrating impact. This competition, conceived by one of our Data Impact Fellows – early career researchers we work with to develop ideas of what impact can look like – is a great opportunity to link academic research and impact communication.

Neil Dymond-Green, UK Data Service Director of Impact

Competition instructions

Full details of what you need to do to enter, along with resources to help you get started, can be found by clicking the links below.

Information for students

Planning on entering the competition? Click here to find out what you need to do!


Not sure where to start? Have a look at these resources to learn more about the topic!

Information for teachers

Are you a teacher interested in getting your students involved? Get all the details here.


The competition is open to all sixth form and college students in the UK (ages 16-19).


The winner will receive a prize of £200 in book tokens, to be shared equally between the winner and their school/college.

The runners up will receive a prize of £100 in book tokens, to be shared equally between the runner up and their school/college.

How to enter

Please email your entry to

Please include ‘Competition entry’ in the Subject line of your email, and include your entry as an email attachment.

We can accept the following file formats: Microsoft Word; Microsoft PowerPoint; PDF; image (JPEG or PNG only). If the file size is over 1 Mb, please use WeTransfer to submit your competition entry.

In the body of your email, please provide your name, age, and sixth form/college name. This information is for our records only, and will not be given to the judging panel. Please submit using an email address that you monitor regularly, as this is how we will inform you of the result.

Submission deadline

*Please note, the deadline has been extended.*

The deadline for entries is now 23:59 on Sunday 6 February 2022.

Winners will be announced in early 2022.

GDPR and data protection

The UK Data Service is committed to protecting your data in line with GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. We will process your personal data fairly, lawfully and only for the purpose of assessing your competition application. For further details, please read the UK Data Service’s privacy policy.

Terms and conditions

Read the full terms and conditions for the competition.