Description

Thus far with SEE-PER funding we have designed and delivered a support programme for established community university partnerships providing a platform for quality PER. Further funding would enable us to extend this work to include partnership formation as well as partnership development and to create a model that can be replicated across the sector. We have a long history of seed funding at the University of Brighton and this extra funding would draw on the learning from that, and from the first round of SEE-PER funding, to develop a wholly new programme for both enabling community university partnerships to form and also to develop to a sustainable stage. We will write this up as a new toolkit, detailing processes and costs that will enable others to establish their own community university partnerships as a platform for PER.

Results from the current project have been positive and we are completing a detailed report on the learning of the partnership support programme for dissemination. Working in collaboration with a visiting Fulbright scholar we also conducted a major research study into community and public engagement at University of Brighton and from the results we are drafting a new strategy that the University Executive Board will consider. The SEE-PER project has been very timely, enabling us to review the work at a point of considerable change in our university and the HE environment, and to facilitate the interest of people throughout the university and our local communities. Our review has shown that PER has strong support throughout the university and with our community partners.

We have firm plans to build on this work, thus far we have concentrated on existing partnerships but are well aware that without concerted attention new partnerships will not emerge to provide the pipeline for the future. As part of a continuation of SEE-PER we therefore wish to extend the project and create a ‘start to finish’ programme of partnership formation and development, and capture it so that it can be adopted across the sector.

We will run a 3 phase project over 1 year. Phase 1 will be a matching, brokerage and seed funding programme for new partnerships that will take place over 6 months. Phase 2 will be a rerun of the partnership support programme we are currently completing, with improvements. The end point of the two phases will be not only be a programme for University of Brighton but also a third phase that will produce a costed and evaluated model of partnership development for PER work that other universities can consider utilising. To our knowledge nothing like this proposed model exists currently and there is considerable interest amongst UK universities. International networks are also interested and Research Impact Canada, http://researchimpact.ca/ is a partner to this application.

Our approach to community and public engagement is based on the belief that the university is a complex system and failing to recognise this will lead to limited effectiveness of initiatives. This means that we need to link PER work with other aspects of university activity that connect with the same audiences (e.g. engaged teaching, knowledge exchange, social value) and crucially with the central professional services (e.g. Finance, Marketing, HR, Estates) that enable PER partnerships to thrive. Our method is considered as an ‘evaluation in complex systems’, a growing field of research examining interventions for complex environments (e.g. the ESRC CECAN centre https://www.cecan.ac.uk/ of which University of Brighton’s Professor Phil Haynes is an associate).
AcronymSEE-PER 2018
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/10/1830/09/19