Liverpool John Moores University

Why we've signed the Manifesto

"As a modern civic university, it is part of our ethos to deliver solutions to the challenges of the 21st century; a university must be truly engaged with its communities as well as with business and industry, in order to be the lightning rod for transformation. I am happy to provide formal support for the Manifesto for Public Engagement and we are committed to the spirit of collaboration in sharing our approach and experiences with others."

Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice Chancellor, Liverpool John Moores University

Our approach to public engagement

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is intrinsically linked to the city of Liverpool, its people, its traditions and its history. The University’s founding college, the Liverpool Mechanics’ Institute, was established in 1825 by men of conscience, who recognised the transformative effects of education and the impact that learning and aspiration could have on individuals, communities and society.

Social and economic engagement forms one of the University’s four strategic pillars of activity. As a modern civic university, it is well aware of its civic, social and environmental responsibilities, and addresses these with enthusiasm and vigour.

Examples of public engagement at LJMU

The National Schools' Observatory and spaceport

LJMU was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education in 2005, in recognition of the work of the Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) in encouraging public engagement in leading-edge science. One of the world's leading authorities in astronomy and astrophysics, ARI brings space science direct to the classroom and the wider public.

The National Schools Observatory has enabled 2,500 UK schools to make over 43,000 observations using the La Palma-based Liverpool Telescope.

Spaceport opened in 2006 and is one of the North West’s most popular family attractions, with over 100,000 visitors a year. It is a collaborative venture that harnesses ARI’s research and teaching expertise with the commercial visitor attraction acumen of MerseyTravel, the combined Passenger Transport Authority for Merseyside. The University continues its support of Spaceport by developing new exhibits, and delivering regular staff training to ensure currency of material.

The Roscoe Public Lectures

One of Liverpool’s most exceptional sons, the renowned eighteenth century polymath and reformer William Roscoe, was born and buried just yards from the heart of the modern-day LJMU and was one of its founding fathers.

In recognition of Roscoe’s interest in wide-ranging inquiry and debate, the Roscoe Lecture series were inaugurated sixteen years ago and are an established fixture in the city’s cultural calendar, regularly drawing audiences of over a thousand people.

Delivered by significant figures from politics, law, religion, academia, culture and the arts – which have included the Dalai Lama and HRH the Prince of Wales - the Lectures have used insight, humour and cutting-edge research to explore the issues of the day, and provide a platform for diverse voices and opinions. Speakers and audience interact to give people from all walks of life an opportunity to debate ideas, forge connections and foster increased understanding and empathy.

From the Cellular to the Societal: Applied Sports Science

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences (SES) at LJMU was the first institution in the UK to offer a single honours degree in sport science (in 1975) and has since built on that foundation to establish an international reputation for research and teaching excellence rooted in societal issues. Much of its work involves the practical application of its knowledge and experience.

Supported by a People Award from the Wellcome Trust and a Royal Society Partnership Grant, Face-to-Face with Sports Science was devised for both a family audience and secondary schools during the run-up to the London 2012 Games. The project was awarded a Bronze Medal in the 2012 Podium Awards in the ‘Inspiring Outstanding Learning through the London 2012 Games’ category.

Since 2004, the School and Everton in the Community (EitC) have worked together on a joint health agenda and have established several major programmes. EitC is the community arm of Everton Football Club, and one of the UK’s leading sports charities, which uses sport to foster better health, education, social inclusion and equality of opportunity across the region. Two current programmes are:

The Everton Active Family Centre, which is a unique satellite site within Goodison Park. It aims to promote ‘real’ health and behavioural change in the local community through a series of ‘rolling’ 6-week interventions, where families can access one-to-one fitness/physical activity, lifestyle and nutritional support.

In addition to their continuing involvement, SES staff were instrumental in scoping and establishing the Centre, which provides a stream of community and health-related work opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate sports science students.

The Premier Men’s Health programme uses football to engage men aged 18-35 with their health. Obesity, exercise, nutrition, smoking cessation, cancer awareness, substance and alcohol abuse, and mental and sexual health are tackled. The project was established using the School’s research expertise, and has in turn generated independent research outputs.

Good Citizenship Awards

Established in 1997 by the Roscoe Foundation for Citizenship, the Good Citizenship Award Scheme operates in nearly 900 schools and Further Education colleges throughout the North West of England. The awards recognise the often-overlooked contributions that young people from different cultures and communities make to society today.

Awards are presented at all Roscoe Lectures, as well as at individual school assemblies and at annual regional ceremonies for secondary schools, FE and sixth form colleges. Activities and initiatives have involved work within local schools, the community and overseas.

Public Events, Workshops and Festivals

Forthcoming public events are listed on the University web site.

Home to the Liverpool School of Art & Design, the Rick Mather-designed Art & Design Academy opened in 2009 and hosts many public workshops, events and exhibitions that attract several thousand visitors annually. The annual Light Night is one such event.

The University recently took over the city’s former main sorting office, a 3.5 acre site in the middle of the city known as Copperas Hill, which it opened to the public in the autumn of 2012 (still in its ‘raw’ state) as one of the Liverpool Biennial venues. The Liverpool Biennial is the largest contemporary art festival in the UK, attracting more than 0.5 million visitors, many of whom are drawn from outside the city.


Name: Alison Thornber

Title: Head of Development Funding or Terry Dray, Director of Advancement and Employer Engagement

Tel: 0151 231 2121

Email: or