How can universities facilitate and encourage engagement with the rest of society? EUA gathered participants from 20 universities across Europe to discuss this question at the Open University of Catalonia in Barcelona on 19 January 2018.
The event covered a wide range of areas from citizen science to minority rights. It was clear from discussions that there are very active communities in different universities that are working to develop dialogue with non-university partners, and that strategies are in the making. While only a few universities have made a strategic commitment to public engagement, some have established specialised offices and have staff coordinating activities and raising awareness.
Some have even started common initiatives like Campus Engage led by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) or the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) in the UK. However, efforts to promote public engagement remain in the shadow of more traditional university-business cooperation and technology transfer activities.
EUA will continue to facilitate discussions on this topic at its Annual Conference in Zürich, Switzerland on 5-6 April 2018. The event will focus on “Engaged and responsible universities shaping Europe”.
The introductory presentation for the focus group can be found here.