About UCL Engagement
UCL was founded on a vision to open education and knowledge to the world and UCL Engagement continues to apply this founding principle to our contemporary context.
Engagement means many things to many people but at its core is the idea of mutually benefical two way dialogue connecting higher education research and teaching with the world outside. We are here to help UCL staff and students listen to and engage with communities.
Three principles underpin the contemporary approach to UCL Engagement:
We focus on equipping UCL to listen and respond to community need, locally and globally
We work to increase the UCL community’s understanding of problems faced by communities locally and globally. In this way, we also spark ideas of how drawing on community-based experience and assets can lead to collaborative success in solving challenges and creating positive change together.
We open the conversations which inform UCL’s research and teaching to all, particularly to those whose voices are heard less often or have been drowned out in the past.
We are committed to working to dismantle institutional, systemic and structural barriers to engagement for specific communities both inside and outside UCL. We inspire conversations and showcase how to ensure that every voice counts. We champion collaborations so that everyone can engage with the ideas that can help us build a better society together.
We encourage a spirit of experimentation, learning and sharing
We approach both public and community engagement with the same curiosity-led approach which characterises UCL research and teaching. We are committed to sharing what we learn about how to work with others to achieve more with government (national and local), UKRI and funders, the Higher Education sector and beyond.
Why should you get on board?
Research is a political and social act and, like UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), we believe that 'disconnection between research and innovation and wider society makes it harder to reap the benefits and harder to identify and prioritise the challenges people really care about' (Link to UKRI five year strategy 2022 - 2027). Engagement at its core is a 'two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit' (Link to National Centre for Coordinating Public Engagement) and those benefits can take many forms for both you and the people you engage with. We see benefits ranging from new perspectives on research, development of transferrable skills, new research directions, increased enthusiasm and motivation for research/teaching, new connections, advocacy and much more.
How can we help you on your journey?
UCL has one of the most established Engagement teams in the country. We choose to frame public engagement as a journey, whether it is undertaken by individuals, groups, departments or institutions.
Public engagement at UCL is not a journey you take on your own. Whether you are a student, early career researcher, senior academic or professional services staff member, we can help you build a public engagement journey that works for you. We work with individuals, teams and departments to build capacity for institutional change. We support the multiple individual journeys that combine to create the momentum for change.
Find out more about how we can help you:
- Sign up to our newsletter to hear about upcoming opportunities, training and ideas: Click here to sign up to our newsletter
- Check out our training offers, some of which you can do right now at your own pace: Click here to find out more about our training
- Read our blog which reflects on engagement practice, past activities and personal stories in engagement: Click here for the UCL Engagement Blog