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Events and Public Engagement

The Events Office develops and enhances the University’s reputation through the conception, planning, development and delivery of a professional events management strategy and public engagement programme.

As well as maintaining and developing regional, national and international partnerships with a range of organisations and influencers, the Events team delivers an events programme, including both corporate events and public engagement activities, and provides events management advice to staff in departments.

The team have developed and lead five key channels for public engagement:

The office also support Public Engagement with Science activities by organising an annual Science Trail for schools, and facilitating inter-disciplinary science engagement through the Science and Society Group.

Why public engagement is important

Public engagement activities are important to both the University and to individual researchers. The reasons why the University believes passionately in engaging the public in our community and the reasons why academic participation in public engagement is important are various and can be characterised as follows:

  • At a broad level, events such as York Festival of Ideas, open lectures, the Science Trail and York Researchers’ Night, educate, inform and inspire members of the general public, school students, potential students. In addition the delivery of a vibrant programme of accessible and free events creates a vibrant environment for University staff, students and visitors
  • Public events also help position the University as a public intellectual and thought leader; 
    • encourage knowledge dissemination and exchange;
    • help inform research and facilitate interdisciplinary working;
    • inform and educate the public about the work of universities and the University of York in particular;
    • inspire the next generation of researchers;
    • enhance teaching and learning, and increase and demonstrate the University’s impact on society and the UK economy.
  • The growth in the culture of engagement is in part driven by the requirement in the latest Research Excellence Framework to consider the economic, social and cultural impacts that might, and do, arise from research and teaching, and the increasing need to demonstrate accountability in the use and impact of of public money used to deliver research.
  • At a personal level, engagement events offer opportunities for researchers at all levels to develop transferable and career-enhancing skills.

Public engagement activities also support the University strategies in a variety of ways, including:

  • Maintaining and developing collaborations and partnerships at regional, national and international levels
  • Contributing to the impact agenda
  • Playing an active role in the city and contributing to the educational, social and cultural development of York and Yorkshire
  • Investing in activities which raise aspirations to HE, and breaking down barriers to education, and Higher Education in particular
  • Contributing to the University’s reputation as a research-led institution which works for the benefit of the community.

Staff

Job titleNameTelephoneEmail
Head of Events Sarah Mitchell 01904 324633 sarah.mitchell@york.ac.uk
Events Officer  Naomi Richards 01904 322064 naomi.richards@york.ac.uk
Events Officer (maternity leave) Portia Hewitt 01904 324123 portia.hewitt@york.ac.uk
Events Officer (maternity cover - Mon-Weds) Katherine Leech 01904 324123 katherine.leech@york.ac.uk
Events Officer (maternity cover - Weds-Fri) Suzanne Thorn 01904 324119 suzanne.thorn@york.ac.uk
Events and Media Relations Administrator Sue Abson 01904 324778 sue.abson@york.ac.uk