Queen Mary University of London

Why we've signed the Manifesto

"QM's signing of the NCCPE manifesto for public engagement is a natural extension of 125 years of endeavour in this field. In 1887, Queen Mary began life as the People's Palace, a philanthropic centre bringing education and culture to people living in the impoverished, often ignored, East End. Both area and institution have changed dramatically in the intervening period, but the close interaction between the two has remained strong. Queen Mary now has new responsibilities to national and international communities, but we retain our commitment to the local community and to sharing knowledge through public engagement, bringing our research to life and making it count and also working to inspire the next generation of learners.

In 2012, as part of the 125th anniversary celebrations of the opening of the People's Palace, QM will be launching a Centre for Public Engagement to support our staff and students and their work with external partners – schools, businesses, charities, community organisations, government, and the wider public – ensuring that this work achieves a positive social and economic impact. Signing this manifesto coincides perfectly with this landmark and helps to re-affirm QM's ongoing commitment to public engagement."

Professor Simon Gaskell, Principal of Queen Mary, University of London

Our approach to public engagement

Queen Mary UniersityQueen Mary, University of London has long been dedicated to the practice of public engagement, recognising that it is not only the role and responsibility of a university to create and disseminate knowledge, but to reach outwards and interact with the individuals and groups that surround it. We understand that dialogue with students can make institutions a more effective community of scholars; dialogue with industry can make appropriate research more relevant and effective, and dialogue with the wider community can make a real difference to society both locally and further afield. At Queen Mary we never forget our historic roots in London’s East End, and by following this ethos to educate and inform we look forward to building new partnerships and new worlds of knowledge with all we encounter.

Examples of our public engagement projects include:

  • Provide – our highly successful community volunteering programme run by the Students’ Union
  • The Centre for the Cell – an innovative science education centre
  • Computer Science for Fun – a global campaign to get young people interested in interdisciplinary computer science research
  • The People’s Palace Projects – an arts organisation that uses art and drama to promote social justice
  • The Mile End Group – a seminar series inviting high-profile speakers with inside knowledge of the workings of government
  • Our award-winning Legal Advice Centre, which brings together volunteer solicitors and students to offer free legal advice to members of the local community
  • Our innovative Community Organising MA – developed through our long-term partnership with Citizens UK, this is one of the only courses of its kind in the UK


The Centre for Public Engagement