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Welcome to the Warwick Institute of Engagement

The Warwick Institute of Engagement 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.

Photograph of words saying 'We're working on the future' from the British Science Festival

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 society.

This work is at the core of Warwick’s philosophy. 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.

What does the Institute do?

The Institute takes a broad approach to engagement and champions engagement in the following areas:

  • Engagement with academic research and interests
  • Engagement as part of the undergraduate and postgraduate student experience – including developing their skills and providing opportunities to engage
  • Engagement with our regional partners and local communities
  • Engagement nationally within the Higher Education sector

The Institute also generates its own thinking and leadership around engagement, including:

  • Providing thought-leadership and training on how to create and evaluate good engagement both within the University and across the sector.
  • Developing and supporting new opportunities for engagement for staff and students to make engagement one of the key markers of the Warwick experience.
  • Leading on the organisation and delivery of major engagement events in the Region and nationally.

No one else is approaching engagement this way in our sector. We want to shape the way engagement continues to grow and develop within Higher Education, enabling a better future for universities and the communities we serve.

Photograph from evening event at Family Day 2019

How can I be involved?

There’s never been a better time to engage and inspire new audiences. Now is your chance to be involved and make a real difference.

This ambitious approach to engagement is sector leading and has never been more valuable, especially in a post-Covid era, and this is your opportunity to get involved.

If you’re excited by the idea of powerful engagement, wanting to make a real difference and share your passions with new audiences then we want to hear from you. Apply now to be one of our 30 Foundation Fellows or watch our launch webinar to learn more.

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:

"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."