Engaged Futures

Engaged Futures was a consultation about the future of higher education and the role of public engagement in shaping that future.

Since the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) launched in 2008, much has changed. Demands for greater impact from research, for a more 'relevant' curriculum, the introduction of student fees and the economic crisis are all having a profound effect on the relationship between universities and society.

How will universities change and be changed? What does society expect from universities and how might these expectations be met?

To answer these questions the NCCPE commissioned a consultation to consider the future of the engaged university. During 2013 over 200 people got involved, including community based organisations, cultural organisations, charities, higher education staff and students.

Read the Engaged Futures report

Consultation process

The consultation was launched at Engage 2012, where over 100 people gathered together to hear ten visions of the engaged university of the future from those who work with universities, and would like to see them change. This was followed by a lively discussion about how the future of the engaged university might be transformed.

Scoping workshop
A scoping workshop was held on 20 February 2013 in London where 60 people came together to refine the consultation questions, shape priorities and themes, and share initial insights. Read the Scoping workshop report here.

Following this event we created several strands of activity. You can find out more in our Summary of process.
  1. Visioning workshops: We held 8 visioning workshops across the UK to gather insights, opinions and visions for the engaged university of the future.
  2. Interviews: We interviewed 30 key stakeholders in the future of the engaged university.
  3. Sensemakers workshop: On the 20 October 2013 we invited a small group of people from inside and outside higher education to help explore some of the ideas that had emerged from the consultation and to share perspectives on how this work could be shared and used.
  4. Engaged Futures blog


At the Engage 2013 conference, delegates shared their opinion on what they would like to see change in how universities currently work with society. You can listen to the podcast here, or download a transcript of the podcast here.