Engagement (also referred to as public engagement) is about people inside universities interacting with those outside universities to share knowledge and research, collaborate on ideas, co-produce new approaches and enable curiosity, exploration and conversation. Through it everyone gains valuable interactions and insights, in turn contributing to societal development and progress.
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.
Examples of Engagement
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
Warwick Institute of Engagement supports engagement with many different types of people. We always try to avoid thinking of just the "general public" and aim to be specific about who we want to engage with. Our Audience Development Toolkit is a good place to start if you want help mapping out your own potential public audience. The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) also produce this useful diagram which gives a good overview of the different types of people we might be thinking of when we say the "public"
The NCCPE has a guide on what an Engaged University looks like. This diagram helps to summarise the different types of engagement that Warwick Institute of Engagement supports.
Read: Public Engagement - when science meets society: What it is, why it matters, and why it's sometimes problematic
This blog was written by Vincent Gerwent as part of his assessed work for our UG Public Engagement module.