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Beacons for Public Engagement

The Beacons for Public Engagement programme supports a National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCC-PE). This promotes good practice and provides a single point of contact for the higher education (HE) sector, and a pilot of higher education institutions (HEIs) exploring different approaches to greater engagement with the public to inform good practice development in future.

The NCC-PE and the beacons were established in 2008 through a 9.2 million funding initiative designed to run for four years. They were jointly developed by the UK higher education funding councils and Research Councils UK, in association with the Wellcome Trust.

In this context 'public engagement' means bringing together HE specialists and non-specialists to develop new channels of communication and mutual understanding.

The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)

The NCCPE supports universities to engage with the public, working with all the beacons to promote best practice in public engagement and provide a single point of contact for the whole HE sector. They also work strategically with key national partners to help develop work across the sector.

In December 2010 they launched a Manifesto for Public Engagement and are inviting every HEI and Research Institute to sign up.

The beacons

There are six beacons located in Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, London, Cardiff and Edinburgh, steered by a Bristol-based National Co-ordinating Centre. In association with partner organisations all aim to develop a co-ordinated approach to recognising, rewarding and building capacity for public engagement to encourage a change of culture in universities, assisting staff and students to engage with the public. The beacons work with the NCC-PE to explore and promote good practices in public engagement.

More about the beacons

Further information

For further information contact Jenni Chambers, tel 0117 931 7041, e-mail j.chambers@hefce.ac.uk.

Last updated 26 May 2011