Organised by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), the Award recognises the University’s public engagement work and the impact it has on a local and regional scale.
This most recent award sees the University improve from its previous Watermark level in 2018, where it won silver.
The NCCPE said that the University of Birmingham had demonstrated a desire to work purposefully, and in partnership with the communities and organisations of Birmingham, to contribute to the regeneration and flourishing of the region.
The judges also commended the approach the university takes towards public engagement from giving staff and students opportunities to work with the public, to the support structure that is in place to ensure the university makes meaningful and impactful contributions to Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region.
We pride ourselves on the impact that we have on the city and the Midlands region, not only as one of Birmingham’s biggest employers but through our research and our relationships with civic partners, communities and businesses.Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham
The University takes part in a huge number of public engagement activities every year, which aim to foster and maintain civic partnerships across the board, including with local, regional and national government, businesses and research partners, and the local diverse communities in Birmingham and further afield.
Judges were particularly impressed by the opening of the Exchange in Birmingham’s city centre, which has allowed the university to further engage the public in some of its key research areas, through exhibitions and workshops.
Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham said: “I am very proud that the University of Birmingham has achieved the Gold Engage Watermark. It is a real credit to the excellent progress the University has made on our public engagement activity since we achieved silver in 2018.
“At the University of Birmingham, we pride ourselves on the impact that we have on the city and the Midlands region, not only as one of Birmingham’s biggest employers but through our research and our relationships with civic partners, communities and businesses. Opening The Exchange in Birmingham city centre is a testament to the dedication that we have to our city and its communities, and we’re delighted to have that recognised by the NCCPE today.”
Sophie Duncan, Co-Director of the NCCPE said: “We are delighted to award the University of Birmingham a Gold watermark. Our review highlighted a strong commitment to engagement across the institution, exemplary practices, an effective support infrastructure, and ambitious plans for the future.
“The opening of The Exchange – the University’s city centre community engagement hub - has afforded the University, its partners and communities new opportunities, and strengthened their commitment to work in partnership, for the benefit of the city and region. Assessors were encouraged to see how they had developed and delivered on their plans and ambitions since they were awarded the Silver Watermark back in 2018.”