Engage 2019

Wednesday 4th & Thursday 5th December 2019 in Bristol

Thank you to everyone who came to Engage 2019 - we hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed hosting it! You can look back at the #Engage2019 hashtag to see what went on, and we'd really appreciate it if you could please fill in our evaluation form. 

You can find photos, videos, blog pieces and news from Engage 2019 on our highlights page.

Engage is the NCCPE's annual conference, providing an opportunity for all those interested in public engagement in higher education to come together, to be inspired, challenged and refreshed.

Engage 2019 took place on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th December at the City Marriott Hotel in Bristol.

Download the final programme

Find out more about the Engage 2019 speakers

Engage 2019: Disruption

For many public engagement is an opportunity to disrupt current ways of thinking and doing. However, as engagement becomes an increasingly familiar part of the higher education landscape, is it really delivering its potential?

Join us at Engage 2019 where we will open up a discussion about disruption, in our universities, our research, our futures and our lives.  

Engage 2019 will reflect on the current contexts for engagement in a world that is increasingly fragmented; where social inequality deepens; where we are facing the consequences of our collective activity on the planet; and where we need to find more effective ways to address the challenges that face us all. All of this in a setting where the future of university funding is increasingly unpredictable, and where traditional paradigms of knowledge and knowledge production are being challenged from all sides.

Is our current approach to ‘public engagement’ adequate to meet these challenges, or do we need a step change in how we understand, lead and deliver a truly ‘engaged’ higher education sector?

Engage 2019 will pose these questions:

  • What is the role of universities in 21st century society? What do these profound changes mean for how universities work and who they work with? Should they reimagine their societal role, being open to disrupt and be disrupted?

  • To what extent do universities truly understand their people and their place? How can they gain deeper understandings that would foster more intelligent ways of engaging? What are the barriers to participation and whose responsibility is it to remove them? How open are they to learn to work differently?

  • What can we learn from different cultures, contexts and approaches?Where has disruption led to better outcomes, and how has this happened? Can disruption be a useful force for change, or are there more effective ways to see change happen?

Ticket information

Tickets for Engage 2019 can be purchased through this booking form. Ticket prices are as follows:


Full price Early Bird (until 30th September)

Full price standard (30th Sept until bookings close)

Concession Early Bird (until 30th September)

Concession standard (30th Sept until bookings close)

2 day ticket





1 day ticket





Concessions tickets are available for delegates from non-HEI community and charitable organisations.

Conference Hotel

Engage 2019 will take place at the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre. 

Pre-Engage Events

We're delighted to invite you to join us in Bristol before the Engage Conference for an introduction to UK Public Engagement and the PEP Network drinks reception.

Exploring UK Public Engagement - Tuesday 3rd December, 12 – 4pm.

Are you new to a Public Engagement role and want to discover more about how to do the role well? Are you a researcher who would like to do more to engage the public with your research? Are you an international colleague who would like to find out about the UK engagement context?

We’re delighted to announce a half-day event in the lead up to Engage, offering the opportunity to discuss and explore key aspects of engagement in the UK. Join colleagues to tackle the challenges we currently face in the sector, find out more about the UK policy contexts, and celebrate and share opportunities to support and develop excellent public engagement practice. With a choice of workshop sessions, the event will be a great way to start your Engage experience.

PEP Network Drinks Reception - Tuesday 3rd December, 6pm.

Are you a member of our Public Engagement Professionals (PEP) Network? If so, join us for a special drinks reception to meet colleagues before the Engage conference starts. And if you’re not a member, never fear - you can join at a discounted rate when you book your Engage ticket and join the fun! Find out more about the PEP network here.

Pre-Engage Event Costs

  • Exploring UK Public Engagement - £75pp (£60 for PEP Network members)
  • PEP Network Drinks Reception - £10pp

Leading Engagement: What next?

Tuesday 3rd December, 3 – 5pm

As one of our pre-Engage events on the 3rd of December, we are also hosting a small workshop for those with more experience leading public engagement. Have you more than 4 years’ experience leading public engagement? Are you keen to talk through the challenges and opportunities that have arisen for your work. Are you hungry to explore how engagement can disrupt current ways of thinking about the role of universities and society? Have you reached a point in your career when you are thinking, what next?

This session provides an opportunity for experienced public engagement professionals to come together to share their experiences and to problem solve together. The event will provide spaces to think about what next for you, your role, and for the sector, and consider how the NCCPE can continue to support you in your work.

If you are interested in applying to join this event, please email maddy.foard@uwe.ac.uk.

Further information

Cancellation policy: Because each delegate place has associated costs, we ask that you notify us at least 30 working days before Engage for a full refund. Any cancellations up to 10 working days before Engage will have 50% of the cost returned, and cancellations within 10 days of the event will not be refunded

More information about the programme will be released later in the year. In the meantime, please sign up to the NCCPE's newsletter to keep updated and find out more about previous Engage Conferences.

For any enquiries, contact nccpe.enquiries@uwe.ac.uk.