In 1887, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) began life as the People's Palace, declared by Queen Victoria at the opening of the building to be “for the benefit of the people of east London, whose lives of unceasing but honourable toil will be cheered by the various opportunities of rational and instructive entertainment and of artistic enjoyment”.
More than 125 years on the local area is transformed and continues to change. QMUL is based in East London, and is the closest university to the Olympic Valley and well positioned with the government’s new Tech City community. Our campuses extend through Whitechapel, the City and into Lincolns Inn Fields, positioning us at the heart of the communities we seek to influence. It is an area of intense and rapid change with major public engagement opportunities, which is creating a multiplicity of new challenges. 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.
To demonstrate this commitment we have appointed a Vice-Principal for Public Engagement and Centre for Public Engagement, to ensure that public engagement is at the core of our strategic decisions as an institution. We’re consolidating this approach by consultation with all of our schools and institutes through Faculty Stakeholder Groups. The RCUK Catalyst funding has supported the development of the Centre for Public Engagement to manage these processes, support our staff and students and act to facilitate culture change. Through all this we aim to embed public engagement across the full range of activities here at QMUL, capture the good practice already going on and share this as widely as possible and in doing so facilitate a transformative change in the ways in which we work with, listen to, and consult with our communities.