Higher Education Open Data Competition

Higher Education Open Data Competition.

UNI4U was one of five tech companies to secure funding from the Department for Education as part of the Higher Education Open Data Competition. The aim of the project was to develop and test a prototype digital tool to help young people see how much their degree might be worth in the future. The initiative drew on open data around Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO), whereby the Government has linked student loan data to PAYE (tax) data to map out the potential earnings of students according to which degrees they studied and where they studied.

As part of this project we surveyed hundreds of sixth form students to determine how important higher potential earnings are as a factor in choosing what and where to study. We then worked in partnership with Sheffield-based HiveIT to develop an effective user interface. This involved undertaking more in-depth research with year 12 and 13 students across Milton Keynes and Sheffield.

We mapped out clear user journeys before co-creating a prototype to meet their needs. Teams of students in both cities worked with us to develop and test the prototype across a number of iterations (from basic wireframe diagrams and mock-ups though to a high-fidelity user interface).

At the end of the project some of the sixth form students accompanied us down to Imperial College, London, where they had the opportunity to demonstrate the prototype to the Higher Education Minster Sam Gyimah and engage with him on questions around the future of higher education.

We are now looking to see how the functionality that we co-created with the students can be integrated into the UNI4U matching service into the future.