Working together: community and university partnerships

Yvonne Hillier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine how government policy has encouraged universities and their community group partnerships to work together through the relationship between the University of Brighton and members of community groups in Hastings who are researching recent educational regeneration in the town. It identifies lessons learnt from engaging community members with such research. Design/methodology/approach - The University of Brighton in Hastings was set up to be a catalyst for change in one of the most deprived coastal towns in the country. The Coastal Regeneration Research Centre (CRRC) was created in 2008 to undertake a research-led programme within, and focused upon, the community and has established a track record of research and engagement in this community. Research projects have been supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and Hastings Borough Council (HBC) and the Ore Valley Forum. Findings - The relationship between the University and its partners is exemplified through an example of a pilot project examining use of a children's centre in Hastings. This research draws upon work by Turning Point, a charity engaged primarily with social care which engages users within the community to become involved in research into the needs of their peers. Turning Point's successful approach was subsequently adopted in the pilot project examining how parents of pre-school children engage with a children's community centre in a deprived area of Hastings. The pilot project involved two experienced parent researchers supporting six parent volunteers in their interviews with local parents of young children who engage to varying degrees with the local children's centre. Originality/value - This paper examines how government policy has encouraged universities and their community group partnerships to work together to research recent educational regeneration in Hastings. It identifies lessons learnt from engaging community members with such research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-106
Number of pages13
JournalHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013

Keywords

  • Children's centres
  • Community engagement
  • Education
  • Education regeneration
  • Parent researchers
  • Universities

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