Why we've signed the Manifesto
“Universities have a responsibility to the local communities in which they are geographically rooted. Edinburgh Napier University has always taken this responsibility seriously. Signing the Edinburgh Beltane Manifesto for Public Engagement both acknowledges what we at Edinburgh Napier have already achieved and underscores our strong commitment to Public Engagement going forward.
We already have a strong record in supporting community outreach in all its forms, from our participation in the annual Edinburgh Science Festival to promoting our own annual primary school art competition. Edinburgh Napier is a university with an international focus but we are also a local university, reaching out to our communities so that our research excellence and academic expertise can help to connect the local with the global.”
Professor Dame Joan Stringer DBE, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, Edinburgh Napier University
Our approach to public engagement
Edinburgh Napier University’s commitment to public engagement is evidenced through the inclusion of public engagement within many university level strategies including the University Strategy 2009 – 2015, Corporate Plan 2011/12 – 2013/15, Community Engagement Strategy and Research, Knowledge Transfer and Commercialisation Strategy 2009 – 15. Our Research, Knowledge Transfer and Commercialisation Strategy 2009 – 15 states:
We will reach out to the communities within which our University is physically based, and to which our University is connected virtually, through the vehicle of public engagement; by raising science awareness and fostering cultural outreach through participation in festivals, public lectures, concerts, master-classes, training workshops, exhibitions and web-based dissemination into a wider public arena.
Recent examples of these activities include events at the Edinburgh International Science Festival and at the Bright Club.
Our activities have been recognised through the award of Public Engagement Fellowships to:
- Dr Kathy Charles (School of Health & Social Sciences)
- Dr Anne Claveirole (School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Care)
- Dr Daniel Ridley-Ellis (Centre for Timber Engineering)
Public Engagement Bursaries to:
- Ms Lydia Kerr (Community Engagement Officer, Student and Academic Services)
- Dr Daniel Ridley-Ellis (Centre for Timber Engineering) – 2 bursaries.
Public engagement is included within Edinburgh Napier’s strategic approach to the professional development of researchers and the university has a range of opportunities available to enhance aspects of public engagement practice. Many of these build on the university’s expertise in the area on technology-enhance learning and focus on the use of new technologies to enable engaging public engagement. Sessions are also included within the Edinburgh Beltane database allowing interested staff and students within the Beltane community to benefit from participation in these sessions. The university also promotes other opportunities available through the Beltane database to staff and students within the university through the Professional Development provision available through the Office of the Vice Principal (Academic). Volunteering by students is encouraged and supported within the university and includes both formal volunteering (where volunteering is an accredited element of some modules) and informal volunteering.
To celebrate and further promote public engagement within Edinburgh Napier a series of university-wide events are planned within academic year 2011-12 beginning with Public engagement at Edinburgh Napier University: a celebration on Thursday 8 December which will provide a forum to recognise and celebrate existing activities and discuss public engagement activities going forward. The Public Engagement Champions who each represent different areas of the university will enable such activities to take place at a local and institutional level.
Edinburgh Napier University is an active member of the Edinburgh Beltane Beacon for Public Engagement with representation on the board and convenorship of the Training and Staff Development Group enabling us to help steer public engagement within the Beltane community comprising five Higher Education Institutions and 11 other public, policy, research and engagement partners within the Edinburgh area.
Name: Alison McCleery MA PhD
Title: Director of Research Strategy & Practice, Professor of Social & Cultural Geography, Office of the Vice Principal (Academic)
Tel: 0131 455 5004