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About the Warwick Institute of Engagement

The Warwick Institute of Engagement (WIE) champions the future of high quality public engagement. It brings together Warwick’s extensive practical engagement expertise with pioneering academic research. We’re putting evidence-led best practice at the core of our thinking – ensuring Warwick’s engagement with the public drives real impact for the communities we serve.

The Institute is an exciting venture co-led by Professor Michael Scott and Jane Furze. It is home to a dedicated team of professional support staff, academics, and our cohort of engagement fellows. We work across Warwick’s hugely talented staff and student communities, and collaborate extensively with our many wonderful external partners.

On this page:

Picture of academic square on campus - sign reads we're working on the future


What does Engagement mean to us?

Engagement is about universities working with those outside academia to share research, collaborate on ideas, and make knowledge accessible to all. It is about inviting in more voices, and being a role model for the next generation. Through it both we and our audiences gain valuable interaction and dialogue – working together for a fairer (and arguably better) society.

This work is at the core of Warwick’s philosophy. In the first Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) report we were delighted that Warwick placed in the top 10% of English higher education institutes for “Public and community engagement”, and the top 20% for “Working with business.” The Institute has been created to take this work further – expanding on our traditional public engagement values, and blending engagement into our student experience. Training the next generation with valuable skills and opportunities, whilst championing our engagement leaders, and making space for the value of engagement to be recognised.

Alongside collaborations on our campus, with our city, and in our region, the Institute is about broader engagement – welcoming in partnership nationally and internationally. We are a global institution – leading engagement practice worldwide.

Watch this short video for an introduction to engagement, why it matters, and the role of the Institute.


What does the Institute do?

The Institute launched in October 2020. Its aims are to support the University’s core purposes of Research and Education, and in particular its 4 strategic priorities (Innovation, Inclusion, Regional Leadership and - to a lesser extent - International). It does this by working in three principal areas:

    • Staff Engage: providing an interdisciplinary hub for staff (both academic and professional services) interested in public engagement to exchange ideas, provide and receive support and training, as well as develop Warwick and HE Sector thought leadership on the future development of Public Engagement through its Fellowship Learning Circles.
    • Students Engage: developing public engagement as an embedded skill set for the Warwick UG and PG student, and public engagement a key part of the Warwick student experience, as well as involving the student voice in WIE Fellowship Learning Circles through the appointment of Student Fellows.
    • Warwick Engages: leading on the organisation of Warwick-wide Public Engagement events (especially Warwick City of Culture Public Programme 21-22 (including city-wide roadshows and on-campus festival) and in conjunction with the University’s Regional and Community teams, contributing to the ‘Civic University’ and ‘Place-making’ University agenda and projects (e.g. ‘Spirit of 2012’ Canley project).

    Photograph from evening event at Family Day 2019


    How can you be involved?

    We're keen to get as many people from across Warwick involved in our work as we can. That's why we've appointed Fellows to help drive the work of the institute and help us build our networks across Warwick. You to can get involved in the following ways:

    Keep in touch with us:
    Become an Institute Fellow:
    • We'll keep running calls for Fellows periodically, joining the WIE Network is a great way to make sure you'll hear about them. You can find out more about what being a Fellow involves here.
    Share your engagement news with us:
    • Let us know about your engagement news - including events you'd like us to promote, publications, and blogs. Simply email us at wie@warwick.ac.uk.

    The launch of Warwick Institute of Engagement

    The Warwick Institute of Engagement launched in November 2020 with our webinar to announce the launch and what our plans for the Institute would be (watch back the event here). We also produced the following video explaining why we believe now is the time for the Institute, and what we intend to do.

    Celebrating the launch of Warwick Institute of Engagement

    Sir David Normington, Chair of Council, commented:

    "I’m thrilled to see the launch of the Warwick Institute of Engagement and want to offer my thanks and support to all the staff and students who get involved.  

    "The Institute supports the University’s 2030 strategy in a number of important ways.

    "It helps us play a regional and national leadership role as a modern university working with local communities to deliver place-based and people-focused results; it helps us drive innovation through maximising the exchange of knowledge between the university and society to enrich learning and innovation, stimulate innovation and partnerships; it gives us a stronger role in championing inclusion – through public discussion, knowledge curation and generation; It enhances the teaching experience we offer Warwick students, as well as contributing towards skills and employability; it informs our research and sharpens our impact, and it gives us a genuine platform for Warwick to play our part even more strongly in national and international debate, social, economic and policy development.

    "Working hand in hand with our communities is strategically critical for Warwick. Now, in 2020, it is more important than ever for universities to look to nurture future generations passionate about research and innovation, and to listen to public concerns and aspirations. I look forward to seeing much more from WIE and its foundation fellows."

    Paul Manners, Chair of the National Co-ordinating Committee for Public Engagement commented:

    "The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement congratulates the University of Warwick on this sector-leading initiative to establish an Institute of Engagement. It is tremendously exciting to see the creation of such a hub, and the timing couldn’t be better, given the challenges we face as a sector.

    It will not only support and facilitate, but also provide thought leadership in three important areas: public engagement with research, engagement as part of the student experience, and engagement as a proactive civic partner in the West Midlands and Warwickshire region. I look forward to working with Directors Michael Scott and Jane Furze and their Team as they take the initiative forward."

    Read more:

    We've been writing for the NCCPE and HEPI blogs on what we believe the future of engagement is all about

    Join us for our weekly Drop-In

    Each Wednesday we're available to offer support and guidance on your engagement plans between 1pm-3pm.

    To book a slot email wie@warwick.ac.uk