University of Chester
Why we've signed the Manifesto
“Public engagement enriches the higher education experience for both students and staff and contributes to the University’s leading role in the intellectual, cultural, social and economic life of the local, regional and wider communities.”
Professor Tim Wheeler DL, Vice-Chancellor, University of Chester
Our approach to public engagement
The University of Chester is committed to supporting excellence in teaching, research and knowledge transfer and, through dissemination and public engagement activities, to ensuring that the institution is valued within the academic and non-academic communities and regarded as a partner university of choice for the region.
Serving and improving the community in which our students and staff live and work is at the heart of the University’s mission. Working in partnership or collaboration with a wide range of organisations, community groups and individuals, we provide:
- research designed to address both the immediate needs of research users and the broader issues in, for example, health, education, and carbon management, facing society today;
- bespoke professional courses and accreditation, foundation degrees and CPD for employers and organisations across the public and third sectors, commerce and industry;
- a work-based learning programme through which the majority of our undergraduate students spend part of their degree, from 5 weeks to a year, on a placement in diverse organisations in the North West, the UK or overseas;
- opportunities to undertake work shadowing and placements within the business community which both benefit the host organisation and enhance our students’ employability, leading to the University regularly ranking as one of the top institutions in the North West region for graduate employability;
- a variety of widening participation and outreach activities to engage with the next generation of scholars, scientists and professionals, including: a leading academies development programme; events to raise aspirations among school, college and mature students; work with schools to develop and support extra-curricular activities in science and technology; and a science fair for primary school pupils.
The Riverside Innovation Centre (RIC), funded jointly by the University of Chester and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is a new initiative designed to generate sustainable, added-value economic impact for our local and regional economies. The wide range of services offered by RIC includes start-up support, mentoring and incubation space, virtual office facilities, conferencing and hospitality, access to University expertise and specialist knowledge, bespoke training and qualifications, business networking events, and a diverse programme of free talks, workshops and conferences.
All of our students and staff are encouraged to engage with the local community by volunteering, either with one of the 300+ opportunities that we offer, or on one of our ‘Give it a go’ short term projects. Our dedicated Volunteering team promotes and supports in house and external initiatives that enable volunteers to pursue activities which both provide a benefit to the community and enhance the experience for students or staff.
Highlights in the University’s calendar of cultural events include a public lecture programme and annual literature, science, and diversity festivals. Across our campuses in Chester and Warrington we offer a range of facilities and resources for conferences, opportunities for leading local sports professionals to use the University’s state-of-the-art training facilities, venues for community group meetings, and contemporary and versatile exhibition space.
Each year, University grant schemes support a wide range of new public engagement initiatives, from the pump-priming of research, consultancy or product development services, to community projects involving student and staff volunteers, to events designed to enhance public understanding of our research.