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Public Engagement – Bath Spa University

At Bath Spa University we are innovative and resourceful and our public engagement is distinctively creative, involving stakeholders in all we do.

We pride ourselves on our sense of community and the way in which we nurture relationships.  We enable communities to engage with research at all stages so that not only do we aim to share our knowledge, resources and skills, we also listen to and learn from the many different communities with which we engage.

Strategy for Public Engagement

Our Public Engagement Strategy is underpinned by four strategic commitments:

1. To explore the distinctiveness of public engagement with our research

A commitment to understanding the distinct features of public engagement with research at Bath Spa University.

Determining how our strong emphasis on practice-based research might make our engagement opportunities distinct, and linking our understanding to other areas across the University, such as widening participation and REF Impact.

2. To celebrate our successes and learn from our challenges

A commitment to celebrating our successes and learning from the challenges we have faced.

This aim to raise the profile of our research will enable us to add value to our staff’s research, and help to communicate our successes to some of the audiences which we may wish to work with in future.

3. To coordinate and strengthen our support for public engagement

A commitment to developing institutional support for engagement with research.

Aiming to coordinate activities across the University, and work with both internal and external stakeholders to maximise our impact. To empower staff to gain training, advice and support where needed to enhance their engagement activities.

4. To build on what we learn to develop our engagement offering

A commitment to learn from our activities and their evaluation, and to develop our engagement offering.

We must ensure that best practice is at the heart of our public engagement development, and that our interactions are partner-focused and meaningful, providing safe spaces for knowledge exchange and two-way learning.

Bath Spa University is an ambitious, enterprising and supportive institution. We deliver academic-led teaching inspired by cutting edge research, enabling our staff and students to contribute to the UK’s creative and cultural economy. Through their research, our staff shape practice, trigger innovation, and inform policy.

The University has a responsibility to contribute to and learn from society through public engagement with research. This strategy therefore confirms a commitment at the University to embed a culture of engagement, and to continue to work on connecting external audiences with our research. We firmly believe this is a two way process and are committed to collaboration, conversation, and partnership in all of our engaged practice.

Professor John Strachan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)

Our Public Engagement

The University’s public engagement activities are framed by our commitment to leveraging our research expertise. The following examples all illustrate the powerful impact of our work with different communities.

  • Changing the way that we view video games and their effects
    Prof. Peter Etchells’ programme of research and public engagement has enhanced our understanding of how video game play specifically, and screen time more generally, affect behaviour and health.

  • Increasing Resilience in Remote Societies
    BSU researchers Rich Johnson and Sara Penrhyn-Jones worked with remote communities in India and Kiribati to produce a series of bilingual documentary films that amplify their voice in understanding climate change and environmental hazards.

  • The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak
    Dr Laura Purcell Gate’s work with Wattle and Daub Theatre Company performed the story of Tarrare, using puppetry to explore our perceptions of non-normative bodies. Working with medical and nursing students on the show also helped to shape their own understanding of the relationship between medical professional and patient.

  • Multi-Media Histories
    Dr Richard White’s walking arts practice has shaped the way in which key heritage sites in the south west of England now engage their visitors, particularly in terms of how the heritage of Bath’s slave-ownership is presented to and discussed with the public.

  • Shextreme Festival
    Shextreme Film Festival is the world’s first film festival celebrating women in adventure, held in Bristol every year since 2015, with Shextreme Film Tours in the UK and France.

  • Forest of Imagination
    Forest of Imagination is a partnership with local businesses and civic authorities which uses creativity to transform urban spaces in an effort to change lives, communities, cities and economies

Get Involved

We work closely with a number of organisations to help ensure that we are maximising our reach into the community:

We are always delighted to meet any members of the community who would like to get involved in co-creating research, performances, reports, workshops or similar with our staff and students.

Please contact our Research Support Office:

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