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University of Bristol Minutes of the Engaged University Steering Group

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University of Bristol

Minutes of the Engaged University Steering Group

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Present: PVC Professor Avril Waterman-Pearson (Chair), Ms Lucy Collins, Dr Maggie Leggett, Dr Lorna Colquhoun, Professor Kathy Sykes, , Ms Amelia Parsons, Mr Paul Manners, Mr David Alder, Professor David Mumford, Mr Tom Sperlinger, Professor Anthony Hollander, Mr Tim Harrison, Dr Philippa Bayley and Dr Dane Comerford

Apologies: Professor Colin Taylor, Professor Ros Sutherland, Ms Rachel Miller, Dr Angela Piccini

Welcome and Introductions

The Chair noted that Chris Curling had stepped down from EUSG. The Group agreed to send their thanks to Mr Curling for all his support, and particularly for securing sponsorship for the Engagement Awards. The Group agreed that two external members should be approached to join. Dr Leggett and Mr Alder agreed to liaise with the Chair about possible invitees.

Action: Dr Leggett and Mr Alder

  1. Minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2010

The minutes of the meeting held on 28 September were confirmed as a true record.

  1. Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda

2.1 Dr Leggett noted that she had made some progress with Dr Piccini’s help on events using the Jeppe Hein sculpture. Mr Hein’s agent had given consent for the events, and Dr Piccini was now recruiting students to work on editing the centenary lectures to project onto the sculpture. The events will hopefully take place in the summer term.

2.2 Ms Collins reported that she had liaised with the Students’ Union regarding contact with schools.

2.3 Dr Leggett asked that the discussion about the market research be deferred until the next meeting.

Action: Secretary

  1. Chair’s Report

The Chair had no specific items to report.

  1. Engagement fora

4.1 Forum on student volunteering

The minutes of the forum held on 29 November 2010 were confirmed as a true record. The discussion focussed on the discussion points highlighted in the report:

    1. The Students’ Union is working with UWE on a database of volunteering opportunities. This database will be searchable on types of expertise as well as organisations

Action: Students’ Union

    1. Professor Waterman-Pearson will prompt a discussion at an Education Committee away day about volunteering and placements

Action: Chair

    1. Dr Leggett will discuss with the Careers Service the suggestion of a longitudinal study of how students’ destinations post graduation map on to their experiences as recorded through Bristol Plus

Action: Dr Leggett

    1. Case studies of volunteering will be advertised

Action: Dr Leggett and Students’ Union

    1. Dr Leggett will work with the Students’ Union to apply for some money to develop the community mentoring scheme

Action: Dr Leggett and Students’ Union

  1. A meeting will be organised between UWE, the University of Bristol and the Students’ Union, VOSCUR and Volunteering England to discuss developing a guide for organisations wishing to host student volunteers

Action: Dr Leggett

4.2 Forum on healthy living

Dr Leggett reported that she had met with the Chief Executive, Ms Molloy, of the Children of the 90s project and they were willing to contribute to the forum. Ms Molloy had suggested that as well as talking about how they engaged their 14,000 study participants, it might also be useful to involve a member of their Teenage Advisory Panel, who would bring a ‘user’ voice into the discussion. Dr Leggett had also met with the health directorate at the Council who were willing to be involved.

The Group agreed to proceed with the forum. It was agreed that the focus should be on processes for involving the public in the strategic direction of health research, and that the title should reflect that. Suggestions for invitees included staff from the medical humanities programme and Professor Kirwan from the School of Clinical Sciences.

Dr Leggett asked the Group to forward suggestions for other invitees.

Action: All

  1. Changing perspectives

Drs Bayley and Comerford gave an update on this project, which will be the large project for the Centre for Public Engagement for this year. The aim of the project is to use the interactions between art and science as a way to open up complex areas of research for the public, thereby enabling discussions with the public about the nature and direction of research. The project comprises two art exhibitions, 6 talks and workshops and an interactive exhibition aimed at families and school children. Dr Comerford gave some examples of the work that will be highlighted, including a crochet of the Lorenz Equation, a circus performance highlighting the different parts of the body involved in extreme physical activity and the mathematical ethnography films which explain what it is like to be a research mathematician.

In discussion, Mr Sperlinger suggested involving more staff from the Arts Faculty, and Mr Harrison and Mr Manners suggested working with various media outlets to attract coverage. Professor Hollander noted that the project will launch on the same day as the healthy living forum, and Dr Bayley replied that that had been deliberate, and that all attendees of the forum would receive an invitation to the launch.

The Group commended the project. Dr Bayley agreed to send regular updates to the Group.

Action: Drs Bayley and Comerford

  1. Update from the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement

Mr Manners opened by saying that the NCCPE had originally received funding for four years, of which there was one year left. He was hoping to obtain funding for a further two years. He reported that in December the NCCPE had launched a manifesto, which included a strategic commitment to public engagement and to which Universities were invited to sign up. The University of Bristol had signed. The manifesto had been launched in parallel with a funders’ concordat on engagement, which outlines the funders’ expectations and responsibilities in this area. Through signing the manifesto and using some of the resources the NCCPE had produced universities are able to meet the funders’ expectations as outlined in the concordat.

Mr Manners introduced the Group to a self assessment tool for engagement that the NCCPE had produced, as part of their resources to enable universities to use the manifesto. The Group reviewed the matrix and agreed that it would be useful to have a workshop with Heads of Schools and Deans to review the University’s progress towards being an Engaged University. Professor Sykes noted how much progress the University had made in engagement in the last 6-7 years, and the Group agreed that this should be highlighted at the workshop. Mr Manners volunteered to facilitate the event, and Dr Leggett undertook to organise it in the summer term.

Action: Dr Leggett

  1. Engagement award

The Group approved the guidance and application form for the award, and agreed that external members of EUSG, when appointed, should be invited to join the judging panel. The Group agreed that the Enterprise Dinner might be the best occasion to present the award, and the Chair undertook to discuss the possibility with the Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research.

Action: Dr Leggett

To advertise the awards

Action: Chair

To discuss making the awards at the Enterprise Dinner

  1. Recording impact and engagement activity

Dr Leggett presented a paper on the Enterprise and Engagement tracker that had been developed at the University of East Anglia. The Group agreed that it was not the right tool for the University of Bristol. The Chair noted that development of a system to allow students to record their extra-curricular activities was under discussion, and recommended that Dr Leggett investigate whether that could be broadened to serve EUSG’s purpose. The Group discussed whether broadening the PE stories website would be an option, and also how the discussion linked with the requirements about collecting information about the impact of research for the REF. The Group agreed that sharing examples of failures, or of lessons learnt, was also valuable.

Dr Leggett undertook to continue the discussion with Rebecca Warren and with Lesley Dinsdale, and report back to the next meeting where this issue could be revisited.

Action: Dr Leggett

  1. Reports

Centre for Public Engagement report (Dr Leggett)

Dr Leggett presented a report from the Centre for Public Engagement. The Group commended the activities of the Centre, and suggested that the report should include lessons learnt.

  1. Any other business

10.1 Professor Sutherland had emailed the Chair to prompt a discussion about EUSG and CPE’s role with respect to engagement with schools, noting that in the new political climate widening access is going to be even more important. The Group noted that a significant number of EUSG members were involved with interactions with schools, and therefore the Group might be well placed to begin to bring together information about the various different activities. Dr Leggett agreed to discuss this possibility with Ms Collins, and report back to the next meeting.

Action: Dr Leggett

10.2 Professor Sykes suggested that it might be useful to reflect at the next meeting how much progress had been made under the Chair’s leadership. The Group agreed this could form part of the self assessment process.

  1. Equal Opportunities

10.1. No issues were raised

  1. Communication issues

11.1 The minutes will be circulated to PVC Professor Orpen and DVC Professor Clarke, in order to communicate the issues raised at the meeting.

11.2. The Chair undertook to take the NCCPE Manifesto to the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Group.

11.3. The Chair agreed to prompt a discussion about student volunteering and placements within degree programmes at Education Committee, to which the Group is obliged to provide a report.

Action: Chair and secretary

  1. Date of next meeting

12.1. Dates for the next meetings are as follows:

Forum: 25 March, Senate Room, 1-5pm followed by wine reception

EUSG meeting: 17 May, 5th Floor Board Room Senate House, 11am – 1pm


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