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Community engagement and volunteering

Community engagement is an important part of the academic journey for students associated with the Centre.

Over the last 10 years, we have forged strong and positive relationships with the local Muslim community. Local Muslims form part of the Centre’s Advisory Group, and we are proud of these partnerships. We envisage the Centre as an accessible, vibrant, and inclusive hub of learning about Islam in Cardiff and South Wales, for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. These priorities are also reflected in the Centre’s research interests, bringing together community engagement and academic scholarship.

Though public engagement is a requirement of Jameel Scholars, we recommend that all students associated with the Centre become involved for their personal and academic flourishing. For students who have had limited prior experience within Muslim communities in Britain, our community engagement programme provides a structured and supported way of developing new relationships with British Muslims. This is often valued by students; their academic study in the classroom becomes informed by ‘lived experience’ within Muslim communities.

For students who have had more extensive experience with British Muslim communities, we hope that the opportunity to be in Cardiff will be enriching given the distinctive history and diversity within the Muslim population of the City. Furthermore, given our reliance on local Muslim organisations for collaboration and for our research, we like Islam-UK Centre students to contribute their own prior skills, knowledge and experience in a way that benefits local Muslims. ‘Giving something back’ to Muslim communities is now an intrinsic part of ethical and responsible research relationships.

This kind of volunteering also develops ‘employability skills’ and strengthens students’ CVs for future job applications.