Embedding public engagement at UCL: Dr Hilary Jackson UCL Public Engagement Unit ucl.ac.uk/public-engagement

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1 Embedding public engagement at UCL: successes, barriers and lessons for the future Dr Hilary Jackson UCL Public Engagement Unit ucl.ac.uk/public-engagement

2 Beacons for Public Engagement HEFCE, the UK funding councils, Wellcome Trust 6 Beacons across Britain Details: What it is Why it matters Case studies Manifesto for public engagement Self-assess your institution UCL s approach to Beacon status

3 Aims UCL & the wider Beacons initiative Create a culturewithin HEIs where public engagement is formalised and embedded as a valued and recognised activity for staff at all levels and for students; Build capacityfor public engagement within institutions and encourage staff at all levels, postgraduate students, and undergraduates where appropriate, to become involved; Ensure HEIs address public engagement within their strategic plansand that this is cascaded to departmental level; Create networks within and across institutions, and with external partners, to share good practice, celebrate their work and ensure that those involved in public engagement feel supported and able to draw on shared expertise; Enable HEIs to test different methodsof supporting public engagement and to share learning.

4 What do we mean by public engagement?

5 Definitions Public engagement describes the many ways in which higher education institutions and their staff and students can connect and share their work with the public. Done well, it generates mutual benefit, with all parties learning from each other through sharing knowledge, expertise and skills. In the process it can build trust, understanding and collaboration, and increase the sector s relevance to, and impact on, civil society - National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement

6 Definitions Public engagement describes the many ways in which higher education institutions and their staff and students can connectand sharetheir work with the public. Done well, it generates mutual benefit, with all parties learning from each otherthrough sharing knowledge, expertise and skills. In the process it can build trust, understanding and collaboration, and increase the sector s relevance to, and impact on, civil society - National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement

7 Public engagement in practice Collaborating Informing Consulting

8 Public engagement at UCL: information gathering Building networks Information gathering Things that stopped people from doing public engagement Reasons why people did public engagement

9 Public engagement programmes at UCL Grants

10 Public engagement programmes at UCL Reward and recognition

11 Public engagement programmes at UCL Champions and leaders Vice-Provost Senior managers Mentors Can t be done by senior people alone

12 Public engagement programmes at UCL Networks Centre around projects/activity Flexibility and responsiveness Focus on needs of institution and citizens Freedom and innovation in decision-making Maintain enthusiasm

13 Public engagement programmes at UCL Evaluation and sharing what we learn Risk Learning > success Critical & reflective approach Our own activities Those we fund and support Toolkits for evaluation Symposiums, networks

14 Successes and pitfalls External drivers and internal stability Emphasis from HEFCE and research councils Leadership & consistency within UCL Risk-taking and innovation Taking opportunities Responding to needs of UCL staff/students & citizens Some programmes fail Partnerships need to grow naturally Fitting with existing structures and demands

15 Lessons learnt Senior support Visibility Networks develop around shared projects & needs Practitioners and champions must understand & articulate the benefits and barriers Strong vision & purpose Diverse activities, systems and processes Community of practice Public engagement as core business

16 Top tips 1. Allow things to fail 2. Be flexible 3. Be transparent 4. Ownership 5. Take time 6. Quick wins 7. Multiple outcomes 8. Invest in evaluation For more details of UCL s story of change, please visit:

17 Where is your institution? Purpose for engagement Processes for support Focus on people Identify where your institution is and wants to be using the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement s self-assessment tool:

18 Where is your institution? Focus Embryonic Developing Gripping Embedding Mission There is little or no reference to public PE is referenced sporadically within the PE is clearly referenced within the institutional PE is prioritised in the institution's official mission engagement in the organisational mission or in institutional mission documents and strategies, mission and strategies and the institution is and in other key strategies, with success indicators other institution-wide strategies but is not considered a priority area developing an institution-wide strategic approach identified. It is a key consideration in strategic developments in the institution Leadership Few (if any) of the most influential leaders in the institution serve as champions for public engagement Some of the institution s senior team act as informal champions for public engagement Some of the institution s senior team act as formal champions for public engagement The VC acts as a champion for PE and a senior leader takes formal responsibility. All senior leaders have an understanding of the importance and value of public engagement to the institution s agenda Communication Support Learning Recognition Staff Students Public The institution s commitment to public Public engagement occasionally features in engagement is rarely if ever featured in internal internal and external communications or external communications There is no attempt to co-ordinate public There are some informal attempts being made engagement activity or to network learning and to co-ordinate PE activities, but there is no expertise across the institution strategic plan for this work. Some self-forming networks exist, not supported by the institution There is little or no opportunity for staff or students to access professional development to develop their skills & knowledge of engagement Staff are not formally rewarded or recognised for their PE activities Few if any opportunities exist for staff to get involved in public engagement, either informally or as part of their formal duties Few opportunities exist for students to get involved in PE, either informally, through volunteering programmes, or as part of the formal curriculum Little or no attempt has been made to assess community need, or to support non traditional groups in engaging with the institution There are some opportunities for staff or students to access professional development and training in PE, but no formal or systematic support Some departments recognise and reward PE activity on an ad hoc basis. Public engagement frequently features in internal communications, but rarely as a high PE appears prominently in the institution s internal communications; its strategic importance is profile item or with an emphasis on its strategic highlighted, and resources and strategic support importance have been allocated to sustain this Oversight and co-ordination of PE has been The institution has a strategic plan to focus its co- formally allocated (e.g. to a working group or ordination, a body/ies with formal responsibility for committee) but there is minimal support and resource to invest in activity There are some formal opportunities for staff or students to access professional development and training in PE. oversight of this plan, and resources available to assist the embedding of PE. There are a number of recognised and supported networks Staff and students are encouraged and supported in accessing professional development, training and informal learning to develop their skills and knowledge of engagement The university is working towards an institutionwide policy for recognising and rewarding PE developed a policy to ensure PE is rewarded & The university has reviewed its processes, and activity recognised in formal and informal ways There are opportunities for staff in a handful of There are structured opportunities for many faculties or departments to get involved in PE, staff members to get involved in PE; but not in either informally or as part of their formal duties all faculties or departments. There is a drive to expand opportunities to all There are opportunities for students to get Many (but not all) students have the involved, but there is no coordinated approach opportunity to get involved in PE and are to promoting and supporting these encouraged and supported to do so. There is a opportunities across the institution drive to expand opportunities to all Some attempt has been made to analyse community need and interest; and to begin to tackle access issues to open up the institution and its activities to the public The institution has committed resources to assessing community need and interests, and to using this insight and feedback to inform its strategy and plans All staff have the opportunity to get involved in public engagement, either informally or as part of their formal duties, and are encouraged and supported to do so All students have the opportunity to get involved in PE, and are encouraged and supported to do so. The institution offers both formal and informal ways to recognize and reward their involvement The institution has assessed need & committed resources to supporting a wide range of groups to access its facilities and activities, and to systematically seek their feedback and involvement.

19 thank you Dr Hilary Jackson UCL Public Engagement Unit ucl.ac.uk/public-engagement

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