At Liverpool Hope University, we have long recognised the importance of engaging with the public, not only to enhance and inform our research and teaching, but also to strive to make a real and positive impact on the wider community.
Researchers within the University have a strong reputation for engaging with the public on a local, national and international level, with outreach activities and direct engagement with a wide cross-section of the public. Additionally, our academics have reached large audiences by making regular contributions through media outlets such as television, radio, newspaper and lay journal articles, as well as presenting expertise to specialist programmes.
The University has a number of Research Centres, all of which actively promote public engagement. The Centre for Educational Policy Analysis (CEPA) engages organisations such as EMTAS, UK NARIC, and the Knowledge Partnership in its work. It conducted a public engagement initiative for PGR students, which was presented at the University’s Big Hope 2 Conference. There is also a blog maintained by a member of the Centre which has so far attracted over 12,000 hits.
The Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies has connections with organisations such as the Embassy of Colombia in the UK, Lille University, Liverpool-Cologne Group, Alexandria Library, the Balfour Project, Justice and Peace Commission, Romero Trust, Pax Christi Liverpool, Mission & Public Affairs Division of Archbishops Council (Church House), and The Oldham Pledge to Peace Forum.
The Centre for Culture and Disability Studies (CCDS) has hosted more than 60 events that have been free to attend and open to the public, including the series Changing Social Attitudes to Disability; The Voice of Disability; and Disability and the Emotions. The Centre for Culture and Disability Studies and the Andrew F. Walls Centre for the Study of African and Asian Christianity also have public engagement programmes.
The Centre for Socio-Economic and Applied Research for Change (SEARCH) is an interdisciplinary centre which brings together expertise in business, economics and sociology, with core projects built around a strategic partnership with Everton Football Club. Projects involve organisations such as Everton in the Community, Overseas Everton Supports’ Clubs, Survivors to Thrivers (a domestic violence charity), Breathing Space-Safe Hands (a project aimed at vulnerable young people), the Everton Free School, and We Can Kick It (a young women’s disability project).
Other engagement activities include:
- Accessible resources for schools, educators, and the general public for science demonstrations and activities
- An Annual Science Week, run to coincide with British Science Week, which is open to schools and members of the public
- The Cornerstone Festival (soon to be renamed Angel Field Festival), a cultural festival comprising film, music, theatre, dance and the visual arts which is open to the public
- The University’s Global Hope Charity, which sends students and staff to impoverished areas in Africa and India to support education projects
- Strategic Partnerships with local organisations, such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, National Museums Liverpool, and Everton Football Club
- The Children’s University, an initiative with local schools aimed at increasing involvement in clubs in schools
- Media Engagement
- Open days at for prospective students and their families
- Public lectures and talks, including distinguished speaker events, professorial lectures, and inaugural lectures
- Schools outreach work
- University Ambassador activity
- Big Hope 2 Conference, an international conference involving delegates and speakers from all over the world
Note that any element of public engagement involving research would follow the Research Ethics Policy.
Liverpool Hope University and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement
On this page you can find out more about why the university has signed the NCCPE manifesto, and our approach to public engagement. You can also find out about our public engagement hallmark, our public engagement talking point and our public engagement people.
Why we’ve signed the Manifesto
Liverpool Hope University has long recognised the importance of engaging with the public, not only to enhance and inform our research and teaching, but also to strive to make a real and positive impact on the wider community.
Our mission is centred around a culture of research and scholarship, preparing graduates to serve the common good. Our educational philosophy is based on the quest for Truth, Beauty and Goodness.
Researchers at Liverpool Hope University have a strong reputation for engaging with the public on a local, national and international level, with outreach activities and direct engagement with a wide cross-section of the public.
Liverpool Hope University is proud of its ongoing commitment to support and empower staff and students to help deliver a diverse, creative and accessible programme of activities with a measurable public impact.
We believe passionately that universities are a public good and we aim to play a positive role in society. Making an impact on local and global communities is a vital part of our strategy.
Our approach to public engagement
At Liverpool Hope University we embrace public engagement as part of the University’s social responsibility; we are accountable to the public and we aspire to increase the relevance of our research in people’s lives.
Therefore making a difference to society by seeking to understand and address public need and benefit is at the heart of everything we do. We use a wide variety of means to connect this top-level strategy with our academic and professional staff and students in an effective way:
Global Hope is the University’s international education programme which gives staff and students the opportunity to engage in projects addressing social justice in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Brazil.
The University has also partnered with Everton Football Club for a first of its kind research partnership utilising the University’s high quality academic resources to support the club’s efforts across an array of in corporate and performance spheres, technology development and governance.
The University hosts a rich calendar of public lectures and talks, including distinguished speaker events, and professorial lectures, enabling researchers to engage with a variety of publics in a range of formats.
Our public engagement hallmark
The University’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies brings together academics and practitioners who work on issues related to peace, war and conflict from a variety of perspectives. The Centre promotes the benefit of drawing on interdisciplinary approaches to shed light on the multidimensional challenges that are faced by militarism and deeply divided societies.
In 2007, the University approached Archbishop Desmond Tutu to ask him if he would give his name to the War and Peace Centre. Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor & Rector of the University said: "His great work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa is the reason why we asked Archbishop Tutu if he would allow us to use his name for the Centre."
The Centre aims to promote cooperation between academics and practitioners to enable innovative and original research projects, outputs and impact. At the same time, we believe in the importance of linking academic research to the lived realities of societies emerging from conflict. The Centre therefore aims to strengthen the links between theory and practice, inviting academics and practitioners alike to engage in its diverse activities.
Our public engagement talking point
Liverpool Hope University’s Service and Leadership Award gives its students the opportunity to volunteer in local organisations to help with community-based projects. The award runs alongside students’ degree and is a great addition to their CV.
As well as arranging volunteering activities, the University provides various opportunities for student engagement, including: course representatives; staff and student liaison committee members; student ambassador roles; mentoring roles in local primary and secondary schools; writing mentors for fellow undergraduate students; fundraising for the University; and research assistants for academic departments.
Students are required to take part in 80+ hours of voluntary service over at least two different projects and to complete a reflective review documenting their experiences and what they have learnt along the way.
Our public engagement people
Liverpool Hope University would like to nominate Rev Professor Daniel Jeyaraj, Professor of World Christianity and the Director of the University’s Andrew F. Walls Centre for the Study of African and Asian Christianity; and Dr Ogbonnaya Anicho, Lecturer in Computer Science and researcher on High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS), School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering.
Prof Jeyaraj’s teaching and research primarily deal with the dynamics of Christian missions and their interaction with native cultures.
Rev Professor Jeyaraj has taught in major theological colleges and universities in India, Germany, and the U.S.A. and carried out advanced research in India, Germany, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. He writes and publishes in English, German, and Tamil and regularly shares his expertise in academies, schools, conferences, church congregations, mission agencies and faith communities.
Every year Rev Professor Jeyaraj delivers a six-part public lecture series in Liverpool; previous titles have included Walking with our Ancestors, and Asian and African Roots of European Christianity.
Rev Professor Jeyaraj is currently working on a collection of Tamil Christian “proverbs” that he has recovered from a palm leaf manuscript.
Dr Anicho’s is work on HAPS research is primarily focused on addressing digital connectivity issues in rural and remote locations especially in developing countries where the digital divide is significant. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), about 3.7 billion people are currently offline with a significant concentration of this population residing in least developed countries.
HAPS research at Liverpool Hope encompasses technical, applications, and policy-related themes aimed at improving the adoption of HAPS globally and particularly in countries with significant connectivity challenges. The research tackles technical issues like developing autonomous capabilities for unmanned HAPS to reduce operational costs; investigating application-related challenges such as routing in multiple HAPS networks; designing energy management algorithms and solar-powered HAPS modelling and simulation. Within the policy space, the research actively promotes HAPS, through various public engagement activities and engagement with regional regulatory and policy organisations like the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO).
The HAPS research has, directly and indirectly, contributed to shaping HAPS awareness and policy in some of the countries connected to the CTO, which has about 53 member states. Through our research, we have raised awareness on how HAPS can benefit developing countries. Due to our experience in this area, the CTO invited our team to engage member countries on the need to support the proposal and case for additional Spectrum for HAPS. The goal was to get member states to support the proposal in the World Radio Conference of 2019 (WRC-19) held in Egypt. The successful resolution to allocate more Spectrum to HAPS was a huge policy success and one that is advancing the prospects of HAPS for rural connectivity. We have also been invited by the CTO to African countries like Sierra Leone and Kenya to facilitate sessions on HAPS for the benefit of policymakers and regulators. Unfortunately, the pandemic has hindered some of these outreaches, but we have not relented in our push to facilitate the awareness of the technology. We have received acknowledgement letters from representatives of CTO member states like the MD of Jamaica Spectrum Management Authority for some of the work done in the HAPS space. The CTO through its former acting Secretary-General has also commended our contributions to its members via our HAPS research.
The future of our HAPS research is guided by the commitment to ensure that we remain at the cutting-edge of technology and innovation until the digital divide is eliminated. However, there are many problems yet to be addressed in the research area. We shall keep extending our network through targeted collaborations with industry to ensure our research addresses practical problems relevant to rural digital connectivity. We recently became the second University in the UK admitted to the HAPS Alliance, the only HAPS technology, policy, and advocacy group driving the adoption of HAPS for rural connectivity globally. The HAPS Alliance includes industry giants like Airbus, AT&T, Nokia, and so many others committed to the education, regulation, and promotion of HAPS and consequently addressing the digital divide.