Past Engage Conferences

Women clapping and celebrating in crowd

The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)'s Engage Conference has been running annually since 2010, providing an opportunity for all those interested in public and community engagement in higher education to come together, and be inspired, challenged and refreshed.

We are keen to see conversations and ideas build year on year, and ensure that Engage provides a thoughtful and interesting space to take our collective thinking forward.

You can find photos of past Engage Conferences on the NCCPE's Flickr.

Delegate feedback

"Well done again Team NCCPE on pulling off such a huge online programme shaped by the engagement community with content that very much reflected experiences of the last year and areas of difficulty we are all working through".

"Every time I attend Engage I go back to work with lots of ideas to implement and reflect upon after being inspired and challenged through the sessions"

“It was a pleasure to be in the company of open-minded, creative people who are active in promoting innovative approaches to public engagement.”

“A really enjoyable, well-organised conference with lots of lively sessions and interesting twists on the standard conference approach - thank you to everyone on the team!”

"...I will approach my own work differently as a result of having attended the conference.” 

Engage Conference 2022: Changing Universities

As the pressures on the university sector mount – demanding change on our internal cultures and a step change in our engagement with wider society – the 2022 Engage Conference provided a welcome space to pause and make sense of the collective challenges we face. Realising the value of meeting face to face, and the flexibility and accessibility provided by engaging online, Engage 2022 made the most of both worlds and consisted of two day-long events: Engage Live on 7th December and Engage Online on 15th December. 

See highlights from Engage 2022.

Engage Conference 2021: Shaping ideas for change  

Engage 2021 took place on 1st and 2nd December and provided the opportunity to come together to reframe the role of public engagement in higher education and set an agenda for change. We reflected on the issues we collectively faced - how the pandemic, tragedies, inequalities, movements and grass-roots activism of the last 18 months has disrupted the knowledge sectors significantly, but also opened up new opportunities to learn and re-focus the role of universities.

See highlights from Engage 2021.

Engage 2020: Engagement, innovation and change

Bringing together all of those keen to support the role of public engagement in reimagining our world, Engage 2020 took place online between Monday 30th November – Friday 4th of December.

See highlights from Engage 2020

Engage 2019: Disruption

Engage 2019 was held on the 4th and 5th of December 2019. We explored engagement as an opportunity to disrupt current ways of thinking and doing, in our universities, our research, our futures and our lives.  

See highlights from Engage 2019.

Engage 2018: Facing the Future

Engage 2018 was held on the 29th and 30th November 2018. We explored new futures for university public engagement; celebrated the NCCPE’s 10 year anniversary; and took stock of the lessons learned. The conference was held in Edinburgh, one of the original Beacons for Public Engagement, and now home of the Beltane Public Engagement Network. 

Engage 2017: Exploring Collaboration

Engage 2017 took place on the 6th and 7th December 2017. The conference took stock of what we are learning about how to realise the promise of collaboration. Looking across the spectrum of collaborative approaches, it showcased cutting edge practice and shared the latest thinking from within higher education and beyond.

Engage 2016: Inspiring Innovation

Engage 2016 took place on the 29th and 30th November 2016. Featuring the finalists of the 2016 Engage Competition, the conference celebrated the diversity of engaged practice across the UK. Encouraging new ways of thinking about engagement and how to support it, the conference provided stimulation and challenge, inspiring us to develop quality practice.

Engage 2015: Engaging with Impact

Engage 2015 took place on the 2nd and 3rd December 2015. The conference teased out the dynamic relationship between engagement and impact: how can researchers find better ways of involving people from outside academia in conceiving, shaping, producing and applying powerful research? Does such engagement actually create better research? How can we find reliable ways to describe the wider social benefits that engagement can create?

Engage 2014

Engage 2014 took place on the 3rd and 4th December 2014, and included a mix of plenaries, workshops, seminars and hands on sessions to bring people close to the cutting edge of public engagement – from both inside the higher education sector and beyond. Some of the UK’s most creative and successful ‘engagers’ were on hand to share their work and the lessons they’ve learned.

Engage 2013: Partnerships that count

Engage 2013 took place on 27th and 28th November 2013, exploring the many ways universities and their partners choose to engage together, and the agendas these partnerships serve.