Skip to main content

Go ahead for public value engagement scheme

24 October 2017

Graphic of colourful stick figures

Three projects are set to address the disability employment gap, modern slavery, and social enterprise for the disadvantaged thanks to the School’s first public value engagement scheme.

Selected from a series of applications, the projects are part of a pilot scheme which aims to deliver public value through research, teaching, and engagement activities.

The successful applicants are Professor Melanie Jones and Professor Victoria Wass, Dr Jean Jenkins, and Professor Tim Edwards and Dr Shumaila Yousafzai.

Policy and practice

Professor Melanie Jones and Professor Victoria Wass’ submission, ‘Supporting evidence-based policy and practice to halve the disability employment gap’, is a challenge to engage with disability rights policy-makers.

Building upon recent research and the School’s ongoing partnership with Disability Rights UK (DRUK), researchers will present clear evidence-based recommendations to improve and monitor the employment chances of disabled people in meetings with key policy-makers.

Professor Melanie Jones said: “The Government’s promise is ‘to be a country that works for everyone’ and its specific target is to halve the disability employment gap...”

“We want to help it achieve this by continuing to work with DRUK to provide academic evidence to influence policy which supports the most disadvantaged groups in society.”

Professor Melanie Jones Professor of Economics

Civil society

Dr Jean Jenkins’ project, ‘Research-led teaching: civil society and forced labour/modern slavery’, will give MSc International Management students the opportunity to collaborate with Anti-Slavery International (ASI), engaging with and influencing public policy on forced labour in the UK.

Working on live research projects, the students will interrogate and analyse international trade agreements identifying specific clauses and issues of relevance to ASI, which might form the basis of their dissertations.

“Our students’ engagement should deliver tangible benefits to ASI and their stakeholders – among whom are some of the most deprived, exploited and disadvantaged people in the world.”

Professor Jean Jenkins Head of Management, Employment and Organisation Section
Professor of Employment Relations


Professor Tim Edwards and Dr Shumaila Yousafzai’s proposal, ‘Empowering the Disadvantaged through Entrepreneurship: A University/Third Sector Partnership Approach’, is an extension of an existing outreach programme which delivers entrepreneurial learning and self-improvement opportunities to undergraduates and refugees.

The project will add two further modules to the existing arrangement initiated by the Business School with the Continuing and Professional Education Department in partnership with the Welsh Refugee Council (WRC) and international student organisation, Enactus.

Professor Tim Edwards said: “We are responding to the needs identified by the WRC and, by a new partner, the Centre for African Entrepreneurship (CAE), by adding modules dedicated to Muslim women and CAE members.

“Participants will get the chance to test ideas and create a commercial or social enterprise with the unique support of all project partners...”

“And, of course, for our students, the key benefit is the career development opportunities they will take from mentoring and internship opportunities offered by Enactus.”

Professor Tim Edwards Pro-Dean for Research, Impact and Innovation
Professor of Organisation and Innovation Analysis

Professor Martin Kitchener, Dean and Head of School, said: “Identifying meaningful engagement opportunities which deliver impact is central to our public value strategy...”

“These projects share the desire to translate research, teaching, and engagement activity into actions which tackle some of the grand challenges facing society.”

Professor Martin Kitchener Professor of Public Sector Management and Policy

“They are excellent examples of the way in which we seek to deliver public value in all that we do. I look forward to hearing about their progress.”

Share this story

Find out more about the ways in which your organisation can work with our students, including placements and live projects.