A date has been set for an online version of the annual test of optometry students’ knowledge and diagnostic skills, the Optoversity challenge.

Universities have been asked to create teams from all year groups to compete online on March 21 to mark the start of World Optometry Week.

Event organisers Out of the Box Optics developed the challenge to bring the next generation of optometrists together and raise money for Vision Care for Homeless People.

At last year’s Optoversity challenge, a total of £5,500 was raised for the charity, which was an improvement on the 2019 sum of £3,600.

Harinder Paul, trustee of Vision Care for Homeless People, said: ‘It is a really exciting event – won by the students at Hertfordshire University last year. We are really looking to draw the whole optical community together for this one day event and looking for our terrific supporters in optics to put up prizes for the best students.’

The day’s challenges have previously involved an ocular disease picture quiz, multiple choice questions, practical exams and anagrams to unscramble optical terminology.

‘Many of the students felt they had learned a lot at the previous events, particularly working to a deadline. It is great fun and we are appealing again for support from sponsors who always make the event a great success,” Paul added.

Optometrist Karmelo Modina, who co-created the event with Gajan Singh, said that Optoversity has proved to be a fantastic way to bring students together and prepare them for working life.

‘Plans are already underway for the online event, which should see even more entrants due to the fact that no team will have to travel to the Anglia Ruskin site, where it has been kindly hosted in previous years,’ Modina added.

Students can enter the Out of the Box Optics website, outoftheboxoptics.co.uk, and businesses that would like to donate prizes should email optoversity@outoftheboxoptics.co.uk