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Engage is the annual conference from the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement with Research for those with an interest in public engagement in higher education institutions to come together, to be inspired, challenged and refreshed.

For many public engagement is an opportunity to disrupt current ways of thinking and doing. However, as engagement becomes an increasingly familiar part of the higher education landscape, is it really delivering its potential?

The conference will take place on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th December at the City Marriott Hotel in Bristol.

Engage 2019 will pose these questions:

  • What is the role of universities in 21st century society? What do these profound changes mean for how universities work and who they work with? Should they re-imagine their societal role, being open to disrupt and be disrupted?

  • To what extent do universities truly understand their people and their place? How can they gain deeper understandings that would foster more intelligent ways of engaging? What are the barriers to participation and whose responsibility is it to remove them? How open are they to learn to work differently?

  • What can we learn from different cultures, contexts and approaches?Where has disruption led to better outcomes, and how has this happened? Can disruption be a useful force for change, or are there more effective ways to see change happen?

The full programme will be available soon. Read last year's programme here.

Registration will open on 9 September via the link below; full price early bird tickets cost £360. You'll need to be quick, they sell out very quickly.

We intend to reserved one space* (and cover reasonable expenses) for an MPLS member of staff or researcher to attend as a training opportunity, to explore public engagement as part of research practice, to improve knowledge and understanding of public engagement, and help inspire ways of progressing culture change to embed public engagement within your department.

If you would like to attend, please email with a short paragraph explaining why you're interested, how you might use the experience to help support public engagement in your department, and how this relates to your role (a formal or informal role), by 20 Sept. *This will be subject to availability.

Last year, Kiri Walden (Computer Sciences) attended. You can read her report of the conference here.


Full information and registration from 9 Sept on.