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What is engagement?

Image shows a Red and White Festival tent with the title What is Engaegement


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.

Warwick Institute of Engagement

Audience watching an event- photographs of people decorate the space, hanging from the ceiling

Vitally, engagement is about two-way communication. It's important to ensure you're making space to listen to your audiences as well as telling them about what you're working on.

It's sometimes referred to as Public Engagement, Impact, Outreach, Widening Participation or several other terms. You can read more about the different terms and what they mean on our Terms for Engagement Padlet.

There are lots of different types of engagement - for example:

  • Collaborating on a piece of research/ solutions with community partners
  • Public talks
  • Advising policy makers
  • Working with artists on exhibitions/ installations
  • Visiting schools
  • Consulting patient groups on a clinical trial
  • Live events, social media, website, television, books


Delve deeper into what is meant by engagements and why it's important in the following sections. You can also watch our short introduction to engagement, why it matters and the role of Warwick Institute of Engagement.

Part 1: Why should we engage?

  • Engagement and Warwick
  • Engagement and funders
  • Engagement and you

Part 2: Examples of engagement

Engagement takes many forms - explore our Padlet of Engagement examples.