The Engaged University? From theory to practice

The Engaged University? From theory to practice

Friday 8th January 2010
1230 lunch followed by seminar 1300 -1500

Room W6 Wilson Building
Edge Hill University

(If you would like to reserve a place, please email Angie Daly on dalya [at]

The public engagement remit of universities has been described by HEFCE/RCUK as the “ambition for a different, more inclusive relationship between the academic and non-academic worlds” ( Dimensions of public engagement include: public access to knowledge & facilities; widening participation; student and staff engagement; encouraging economic regeneration and enterprise and institutional relationship and partnership building. Activities involve staff and students at all levels of universities and the publics/communities with whom they engage (Auditing, Evaluating and Benchmarking Public Engagement: NCCPE Briefing Paper No.1).

Knowledge exchange can be viewed a central element of public engagement which at Edge Hill University is defined broadly and “recognises various forms of collaboration and benefit, extending well beyond narrow notions of income generation” (DRKT Knowledge Transfer Development Fund). Activities here include wider benefits of applied of knowledge and skills; critical analysis of policy and practice; commercial income generation through research, knowledge transfer and training services and consultancy. Following on from the Centre for Local Policy Studies Research Exchange Seminar on ‘Concepts of Knowledge Exchange’, we would like to continue the discussion about what knowledge exchange and public engagement means for us at Edge Hill.

We are pleased to welcome

who will share with us experiences of researching the interface between universities and publics through a national and university-wide systemic action research project.

Come and join us to explore:

  • Perceptions of public engagement and the role of universities?
  • Knowledge exchange/public engagement activities at Edge Hill?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities?

If you would like to reserve a place, please email Angie Daly on dalya [at] .

Please include any dietary requirements, as lunch is included.


Chair               Stuart Speeden, Centre for Local Policy Studies

1230    Lunch

1300    Introduction: Thinking about knowledge exchange and public engagement

1310    Motivations for public engagement: Whose Interests? Heather Squires

1330    Researching public engagement cultures. Danny Burns

1400    The ‘engaged university’? Where are we now?

1440    Review: What are the opportunities and challenges?

1500    Close

Widening Participation Research Centre: Knowledge Exchange Seminar

Communicating Climate Change: Wider participation in knowledge exchange partnerships


Thursday 25th June 2009

Department of Natural Geographical and Applied Sciences

Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, Lancashire


Everyone can participate in communicating knowledge about climate change but how do we make knowledge exchange real? What scientific knowledge do we have and how do we share that knowledge? How do young people get involved? What motivates us to communicate our ideas for action? What are ways can we build partnerships between researchers, practitioners, schools and communities?


This collaborative seminar will explore how knowledge exchange, research and education can be effective in communicating climate change and how we can use local knowledge resources to enhance and support an ethos of sustainable development in our work.


Perspectives from researchers, practitioners and young campaigners will help us debate these issues. Perspectives will be offered from


·         Inderdeep Cheema on the British Council: Climate Change Young Champions programme

·         Dr Laura Grant on working with city populations on the Zero Carbon City Global Campaign

·         Graham Lymbery from the Coastal Defence Team on working with community knowledge

·         Professor Ann Worsley on European coastal research: knowledge exchange between communities, schools and universities


Join the debate!


Angie Daly      

Annie Worsley

Research Paper Sessions – Case Studies

This presentation of research and evidence based case studies was chaired by Dr Paul Greenbank.  Jennifer Caunt from Manchester Metropolitan University presented “Widening Access – Is It Fair”; Ken Neil and Eileen Reid, from the Glasgow School of Art presented “Accessing and Decoding Communities of Cultural Capital”; Robert Child and Teresa Caldwell from the Centre for Widening Participation at Liverpool Hope University presented “Undergraduate mentoring schemes provide significant opportunity of personal reflection and development in both mentors and participating school students”; Gill Marshall from the University of Cumbria presented “Are non-standard entrants appropriately induced and integrated into Master’s level courses?”.  Extracts from these case studies can be found on the blog.

Research Paper Sessions – Embedding Change

This presentation of research and evidence based papers was chaired by Dr Ian Bruff.  Joanna Papageorgiou, from the Research Team at UCAS presented “What can the UCAS ‘tick box’ tell us about the progression of applicants who have been in care?”; Katherine Hewlett, In Curriculum Development Director from the University of Westminster and Chris Lowthorpe, InCurriculum Unit Leader from Norwich University College of the Arts presented “InCurriculum ~ Developing and inclusive curriculum in Higher Education; Richard Huggins from Oxford Brookes, Liz Marr from Manchester Metropolitan University and David Woodman from Roehampton University Collaborative Partnerships Office presented “Unreasonable Adjustments? Lessons from Internationalisation”; and Sue Hatt and Jim tate from the University of the West of England presented “Aimhigher and the FE College; strategic synergy?”.  Copies of the extracts from these presentation can be found on the blog.

Research Paper Session – Knowing our communities

This presentation of research and evidence based papers was chaired by Angie Daly. Dr Eamon O’Doherty, Research Development Officer from the Higher Education Research Centre, University of Salford presented ‘Sites of Engagement in Education and Working Class Adults Voices’; Sue Hatt from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of the West of England presented “Exploring the ‘known
unknowns’: A study of UCAS data; Dr Liza van Zyl from the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, University of Glamorgan presented “’Can’t they go to someone else’s lecture!’ – Challenging the barriers to widening participation”; and Margaret Hart, Head of Widening Participation, The Open University and Sarah Wilkinson, Community Partnerships Manager, The Open University in the North West presented “Tackling the access and attainment gap for students from low socio-economic groups: how practice in communities is influencing policy in the Open University. Extracts from these papers can be found on the blog.

Panel Discussion chaired by Prof. John Diamond


Professor John Diamond outlined how the thought provoking discussions of the keynote speakers had worked through the scales of resolution from Kathleen’s global perspective through Mary’s national perspective to Stuart’s local perspective of individual organisations.  The wide variety of questions and observations that the discussions had sparked included: how academics veered from extreme passion and interest in what they were doing in widening participation to the depths of despair that bureaucracy, infrastructure and league tables can engender.  There were passionate debates on what kinds of institutions UK universities are – public or private or a combination of both – and the various issues that arise from introducing a commercial element, whether partially or wholy and the impacts this has on widening participation and how it can undermine democracy.  Delegates from other European countries also discussed how their models of tertiary provision compared and differed to the UK model.

Welcome to the Widening Participation Research Centre blog

Mainstreaming Equality in Higher Education Conference.  

Questions for the panel?


Our conference ‘ Mainstreaming Equality in Higher Education? will include a panel discussion on the role of research to theory, policy and practice of equality in Higher Education.


Research presented at this conference will ask questions about the extent to which equality is mainstreamed in higher education.  Participants will have opportunities to discuss if and how the notion ‘top down policy implementation’ is limiting cultural change and if a notion of ‘practice to policy’ can provide opportunities for engagement with the issues, spaces to develop innovative educational practice and contribute to institutional policies based on stronger understandings of (in)equalities. How can innovative educational practice by a range of stakeholders influence meaningful national and institutional policy?


Do you have a question to put to our panel?


Professor Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies Centre, UCD

Researching equality in higher education: theory to action


Dr Mary Tupan-Wenno, President of European Access Network

Research and advocacy: building inclusive curricula in Europe


Stuart Speeden, Centre for Local Policy Studies

Managing equalities in Higher Education


Professor Liz Thomas, Widening Participation Research Centre

The links between research, policy and practice


The discussion will be chaired by Professor John Diamond