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Have more questions about the Institute not covered here? Feel free to get in touch.

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 society.

That includes everything from public lectures and festivals, to working with schools and doing engaged research with community groups. It covers both engagement with research, and also with knowledge in general.

The Public Engagement Team has become the professional services side of WIE. How we offer support and the activities we work on has changed slightly in line with the new priorities of the institute, but we’re still happy to chat about your ideas and offer advice.

The Institute will be working with Faculties by reporting to Faculty Boards and Faculty Education Committees, as well as Faculty Research and Impact committees where needed on our ‘Staff Engage’ and ‘Students Engage’ agendas. The Institute with be working with individual Departments on particular Public Engagement projects as required, and also liaising more regularly with Departments (both academic and professional) via its Foundation Fellows.

The Institute will be working in collaboration with Research and Impact services to deliver staff training, as well as with other University groups (e.g. Social Media team) for particular training programmes. We will be working with WIHEA, IATL, ADC and Outreach and Widening Participation to pursue our ‘Students Engage’ agenda. We will be working collaboratively as part of a Steering Committee with a range of groups to guide the University in the develop of its response to the KEF concordat.

In terms of Coventry City of Culture, we are working with groups across the University (and particularly R&IS and the GRP Programme) to deliver our 12 month roadshow and on campus events in 21-22. More long term, we will be working with the Regional and Community teams, as well as with Warwick Arts Centre, on longer term community engagement projects, civic university and place-making initiatives.

Learning circles will be our guides to what WIE should do, and how, and the place of engagement at Warwick. They will each be comprised of a group of foundation fellows / WIE staff with an interest in a particular topic related to public engagement. The areas of discussion will be set by the fellows, with some initial guidance. We intend that the first few learning circles will look at:

  • The purposes of engagement in higher education
  • Development of criteria for judgement of good engagement work, which can be fed into Warwick’s promotion criteria for all staff levels
  • Development of training for engagement work, with an initial focus on online engagement in the Covid-19 era and beyond
  • Developing collective knowledge of professional bodies supporting engagement across departments / faculties
  • Development of the pedagogy of Public Engagement teaching and assessment for the student UG and PG curriculum.

The Institute will primarily lead and coordinate cross institutional public events and programmes. Our first focus is creating a Warwick programme for City of Culture. We are working with staff and students across the University to curate and deliver a year of roadshow activities culminating on a festival on campus. Our goal, particularly through the roadshow is to build long term and sustainable relationships with diverse communities from across the city. We will then continue to work with these communities to develop a programme of activity for 2022 and beyond. This legacy programme will also be coordinated by the Institute.

The Institute will also play a significant role in supporting the University’s community engagement strategy. Currently our activity is focused on working with our neighbours in Canley and we have been awarded Spirit of 2012 funding to work alongside the community to build a programme of activity centred on strengthening community pride, cohesion and resilience. Over time we will extend or community engagement to more communities. Public Engagement is a core pillar of the STEM Grand Challenge; the Institute will lead in developing a vision for engagement spaces and engagement programmes within the new state of the art buildings. This vision will be created in collaboration with representatives from across the University.

Visit our virtual skills festival to explore resources and training sessions to help take your engagement practice to the next level.

Staff Skills Festival

PG Skills Festival

UG Skills Festival

One of the first areas of focus will be to identify who we already work with across the University; the Institute will work with colleagues from RIS, Widening Participation and the Regional Engagement team initially to map these and confirm where we already have or could build strategic relationships.

We know that a strong network of community, voluntary, education and cultural sector relationships already exists alongside significant stakeholder relationships with local authorities and the health sector.

We chaired the first Public Engagement meeting of the EUTOPIA network in November 2020, to begin discussions about how Public Engagement opportunities for staff and students might be developed across the EUTOPIA network. We will be taking forward this work as part of our priorities in 2021-22.

We are seeking to make Engagement a hallmark of the Warwick Student experience through the provision of Institute taught modules (in conjunction with IATL), as well as supporting development of Department-led Engagement modules, formative and summative assessments, work experience opportunities and co-produced staff/student engagement projects.

If you have a module which features engagement please get in touch to discuss how we can support this.

Visit the City of Culture web page to find out.