University of Dundee

Why we've signed the Manifesto

"The University of Dundee has set out an ambitious vision to become Scotland’s leading university within the next 25 years. Public engagement is a key strand of our founding mission to transform lives through the creation, sharing and application of knowledge. We remain committed to widening access to education and to working across local and global scales to make a difference in the world. Our engagement work is influenced by Dundee’s history of radical thought, enlightened public discourses and appetite for innovation in all aspects of public life.

Dundee is renowned for its leading work in medicine, life sciences, energy studies and the creative industries, especially in design and digital games. We recognise that this work is only worthwhile if it addresses relevant questions and issues in today’s society and only useful if it’s shared as freely and widely as possible. The University of Dundee is committed to the highest standards of public engagement and we are proud to be a signatory of the Manifesto for Public Engagement.

We make a firm pledge to deliver the highest quality public engagement experience for our staff, students and partners. We are excited by the prospect of continuing our excellent public engagement work and transforming lives in everything we do.".

Professor John Rowan, Vice-Principal (Research, Knowledge Exchange and Wider Impact) 

Our approach to public engagment

We recognise that the people and organisations we work with are unique and diverse. This means we use different approaches when working together to help deliver the best outcomes for communities. Likewise, the ways in which we evaluate the outcomes and impact of each engagement project need to be tailored. Our engagement should be unique, personal and thoughtful, and as often as possible co-designed or with input from communities from the very outset. Our engagement is guided by the University’s ethical principles. Each project, research area and degree course will have their own approach to engagement and will work with audiences that enhance their work and benefit from working with us.

In support of our strategic approach to public engagement we have created and developed the University’s Public Engagement Forum with pan-University representation and has supported the development of the University’s Public Engagement Strategy. Through regular meetings and working groups the Forum drives the embedding of public engagement throughout the University and provides a channel for discussion and development for committed public engagement champions.

Our public engagement hallmark

The University of Dundee has a rich history of public engagement; our extensive civic engagement portfolio enhances our relationship with the city of Dundee, its people and the wider region beyond. Founded in 1881 as University College Dundee, we were one of the first higher education institutions to offer all classes to both men and women and this approach to equality, diversity and inclusion underpins our ethos today. Our earliest staff and students engaged with the local community providing evening classes, delivering public lectures and developing projects to improve the lives of Dundee’s inhabitants.

Our extensive archive provides evidence of the University’s connection to its hinterland and the many ways in which staff and students have continued to engage with others to transform lives locally and globally. Our archive, museum, fine art, and rare book collections are of local, national and international significance. As well as playing an important role in supporting teaching and research, the collections are the focus of, and underpin, a significant amount of public engagement activity across the University.


Name: Jon Urch

Title: Senior Public Engagement Officer