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Public engagement

Public engagement allows us to set priorities and share ideas and expertise to bring about benefits for all.

Through active and collaborative participation, we aim to co-create relevant, accessible opportunities to be of value and connect our work with wider society.

What is public engagement?

Public engagement is defined by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), who specialise in all aspects of public engagement and development, as:

"The myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public. Engagement is by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit."

Put simply, public engagement is the way we actively involve the public in our work through our research, teaching and consultation.

We are the first and only Welsh university to receive the prestigious Silver Engage Watermark from the NCCPE. The award recognises our strong commitment to engagement and reflects how public and community engagement are at the core of how we deliver our civic responsibilities.

Our ambition

We aim to embed public engagement across all aspects of university life. We want our staff and students to have access to the highest quality support and to be able to utilise that support to integrate public and community engagement into their work.

Why is public engagement important?

We want our communities and partners to know that we are a force for public good, working together on common goals to create solutions that make a positive difference. We are ensuring public priorities and needs are at the core of our world-leading research and strategies. We encourage our staff, students, business and industry partners, and community neighbours to work together, and embed access to our knowledge and expertise far and wide.

As we continue on our journey in achieving teaching and research excellence, we are creating opportunities for students to engage in learning within communities beyond the university. Our staff and students create and join public dialogue with diverse communities to share the results of our research and produce societal benefit.

Public engagement helps to connect the work of the University with society to create meaningful impact. Our work has a wide reach in society, impacting both policy and public services as well as small and large scale businesses. We create conversations where we can listen to and adapt to the needs around us.

Why does public engagement matter in Higher Education?

Public engagement is of great strategic importance within the Higher Education landscape. It allows us to have a wider and greater impact from the work we do, having a positive effect on the University and the diverse audiences we partner with.

Major funding partners include public engagement as a crucial aspect of grant bids which opens funding opportunities to do more work alongside our communities on issues that matter to them.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) provides a unique analysis of research across UK universities. REF show where research stands in terms of quality and output on the domestic and global stage. REF encourages high quality public engagement with research to demonstrate the real impact research has on our society and highlights the real-world benefits it brings. Read about our REF 2021 successes here.