Students get creative with technology to reduce tuition fees

North Event winners 2019


Students from 11 universities came together with employers from 22 companies in Manchester on Wednesday 20th November for an extra-ordinary developmental experience, as part of their employer-accredited Tech Industry Gold degrees.

Deloitte generously sponsored the event’s competition, which challenged student teams to use technology to design a new commercial model for higher education. Employer judging panels assessed not only innovation in the use of technology, but also business viability and, in a particular theme for the day, relevant data protection and ethical considerations.

The competition for 2nd year, final year and MSci students was won by Loughborough with a creative solution to reduce university energy bills by harnessing energy produced by students using exercise equipment. This well thought out concept could be implemented immediately, with students incentivised to participate through reduced tuition fees related to their energy production.

The winner of the competition for 1st year students was the University of the West of England’s team 3, with a proposition to capture and monetise location data as students move on and off campus. This stood out to the judges because of the way the team had considered how data could be used to create revenue, for example the planning of retail or leisure facilities aimed at students, whilst also saving the university cost by better targeting of resources.


“I had an amazing day at the Tech Industry Gold Student/Employer Event which included talks from representatives from Deloitte and Amazon, as well as a mock assessment centre organised by Accenture which was very insightful! My team and I were placed 1st in the ‘University Reimagined’ competition where we pitched our concept of Energize, a way for students to reduce their tuition fees by producing electricity for their university through exercise bikes, rowing machines etc. I would like to thank the judges for their extremely helpful feedback and positive comments.”

Jack Squires, Tech Industry Gold student, Loughborough University

“The event is a great space for Tech Industry Gold students to network and practise their communication skills. The competitions allow students to explore new tech concepts and present in front of a panel of top employers which is a fantastic opportunity.”

Steve Battle, Tech Industry Gold Course Leader, University of the West of England


Opening the event, Phil Smith CBE, Chairman of IQE Plc and of Tech Partnership Degrees told students “This is the industry that is changing the world. Through it, you can change the world. You have the opportunity to grasp that today”. He went on to explain why all companies today are desperate for tech skills – most particularly the blend of business and technical skills created by Tech Industry Gold degrees.

Students participated in skills development sessions with Accenture, RBS and Merkle, saw a view of the future from Amazon Web Services and Deloitte keynote speakers, and met as many employers as they could in the popular ‘speed networking’.


“I forgot how hard it is to find a placement or an internship and how you feel like you should have your career path all figured out in first or second year of uni. Most people don’t, but events like this one can put you on the right track.”

Matthieu Lux, Manager, Deloitte Ventures

“Having visited the GSK stand on every previous occasion as a competing student, it felt fantastic to now be coming to the event as their representative, sharing my current experience as an intern. But the best part of today was seeing my fellow peers from Queen Mary University of London take home several prizes for their incredible hard work, preparation and commitment to the competitions, that see hundreds of students compete every time. I look forward to re-joining them in a year.”  

Christopher Goldsbrough , Queen Mary University London, placement student at GSK


Graduates of Tech Industry Gold degrees outperform computer science overall, all degrees overall, and almost every separate subject area on all key measures, including academic results and employability. These twice yearly student / employer events are an important part of this employability boost, focusing as they do on innovation, entrepreneurship and interpersonal skills development. Many students come to the events not only during their degree course, but also representing their employers as interns or graduates.

The universities involved in this event were Aston, Derby, Chester, Greenwich, Lancaster, Loughborough, Northumbria, Manchester, Oxford Brookes, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the University of the West of England (UWE), with supporting employers including AOL, Arup, Bain, BBC, BT, CGI, Cisco, Deloitte, Fujitsu, GSK, IBM, Information Catalyst, Informed Solutions, Jaguar Land Rover, Merkle, National Grid, OVO Energy, RBS, Shop Direct, Tata Consultancy Services, Valitudo Technologies Limited and Volutus.

Winners received cash prizes and vouchers, and the team winners and the two individual winners of the 2nd year, final year and MSci student competition will also be invited to a special ‘Mash-Up Day’ at Deloitte.

Teams Individuals
Competition for 2nd year, final year and MSci students 1st     Loughborough

2nd   QMUL team 1

3rd   QMUL 2

Telisha Heslop, UWE

Sofia Bhatty, QMUL

Competition for 1st year students 1st   UWE team 3

2nd  QMUL team 2

3rd   UWE team 4

Vardnan Sivarajah, Manchester

Dan Hatherall, UWE

Anna Hruba, QMUL

Amy Collins, UWE

Employer ‘spot prizes’ for other notable contributions From Volutus:      Bianca Vergu, Northumbria

From Accenture:  Toby Oates, Loughborough

From Accenture:  Telisha Heslop, UWE

Other prizes The Weakest Hyperlink Challenge’: Team Aston

Tweet of the Day: George Maggs, UWE

‘TP Degrees Instagram ‘Take-Over’: Samuel Adjei, UWE

‘TP Degrees Instagram Contribution of the Day’: Saeed Kazemi-Khiyabani, UWE


Any employer interested in getting involved in future events should contact [email protected], and any university interested in finding out more about Tech Industry Gold accreditation should contact  [email protected].

Registration for the next event on 11th March 2020 is now open at Tech Industry Gold South Event.

Watch the video highlights


About Tech Industry Gold

Tech Industry Gold is the industry accreditation for digital and tech degrees and degree apprenticeships – BSc (Hons), MSci (Hons) and MSc. Designed to meet standards that are defined by employers, Tech Industry Gold programmes integrate industry-relevant academic learning with the technical, business and interpersonal skills new recruits need to excel in digital careers. They not only meet industry standards for content, delivery, and assessment but also offer a unique student experience due to the active support of employers.

All stakeholders benefit: students can choose Tech Industry Gold programmes with confidence because of their results, including outstanding employment and academic outcomes. Employers get easier access to exceptional talent and new recruits with the skills to be immediately productive in work. For universities, offering Tech Industry Gold accredited programmes helps them to grow new markets and recruit highly engaged students who achieve outstanding results.

About Tech Partnership Degrees

Employer-led and not-for-profit, Tech Partnership Degrees unites employers and universities to improve the flow of talent into the digital workforce through industry-accredited Tech Industry Gold degrees and degree apprenticeships.

The Tech Partnership Degrees Employer Board comprises senior executives from Accenture, Air Products, Amazon, Bain & Company, Barclaycard, BT, Capgemini, CGI, Cisco, Deloitte, the Department for Work and Pensions, Equanimity, Fujitsu, HSBC, IBM, Jaguar Land Rover, Network Rail, NHS Digital, Quicksilva, SAS, Tata Consultancy Services and VMWare.

Universities offering Tech Industry Gold accredited degreeand degree apprenticeships include: Anglia Ruskin, Aston, Birkbeck, Blackpool and The Fylde College, BPP, Chester, Chichester, Derby, Exeter, Glasgow Caledonian, Greenwich, Hertfordshire, Lancaster, Leeds Beckett, Loughborough, Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan, Northumbria, the Open University, Oxford Brookes, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), Ravensbourne College, Roehampton / QA, Salford, Sheffield Hallam, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Sunderland, Teesside, University of Central Lancashire, University of East London, University of the West of England (UWE), University of West London (UWL) and Winchester.

See for further details. 

For all enquiries, please email [email protected]