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Measuring the impact of community university engagement Simon Northmore Community University Partnership Programme University of Brighton www.cupp.org.uk.

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Presentation on theme: "Measuring the impact of community university engagement Simon Northmore Community University Partnership Programme University of Brighton www.cupp.org.uk."— Presentation transcript:

1 Measuring the impact of community university engagement Simon Northmore Community University Partnership Programme University of Brighton

2 Shift in focus from ‘teaching, research and service’ to ‘learning, discovery and engagement’ (Kellogg Foundation) but… A lack of established quality standards for outreach and engagement Different approaches Lack of agreement on outcomes As a result… ‘many university administrators are not aware of the breadth of community engagement that occurs within their own institutions’ Goedegebuure & Lee (2006) The measurement challenge (1)

3 The measurement challenge (2) Diversity of engagement activity needs a diversity of tools Where the university does set out its aims and objectives clearly, institutional and faculty needs can dominate the process We need to include public/community perceptions into evaluation, but little published material specific to the audit and/or evaluation of public perspectives on community-university engagement

4 Current approaches At the strategic university level: various attempts to define high-level institutional benchmarks - but these don’t provide useable indicators for public engagement At the project specific level: a variety of approaches that relate teaching and learning to the wider world, involve dialogue between practitioners, researchers and community members and are concerned with the wider role and responsibility of the University community - but these do not necessarily demonstrate benefits at an institutional level

5 US strengths Assessing institutional effectiveness (e.g. Carnegie Foundation) Measuring the impact of service-learning/ civic engagement initiatives - on students, faculty, institution and the community (e.g. Campus Compact) Benchmarking/conceptual frameworks (e.g. Kellogg Commission/ Council of Independent Colleges) UK strengths Assessing regional business development processes (e.g. HEFCE: Higher Education-Business and Community Interaction survey) Benchmarking/systematic monitoring to inform strategic planning (e.g. Russell Group) Measuring social impact/public perceptions of value (e.g. REAP; Work Foundation)

6 UK context: the wider agenda Local authorities; health authorities; educational bodies; other public bodies and 3rd sector organisations all interested in measuring social impact A variety of benchmarking and auditing tools being developed Common principles - direct accountability to local communities; clear outcomes for citizens, within a framework of local freedoms and flexibilitiesbut… No single approach to audit, benchmarking and evaluation that can be taken off the shelf and applied to a university and its partners

7 Defining university public engagement; the UK Beacons Project Public engagement describes the many ways in which higher education institutions and their staff and students can connect and share their work with the public. Done well, it generates mutual benefit, with all parties learning from each other through sharing knowledge, expertise and skills. In the process, it can build trust, understanding and collaboration, and increase the sector's relevance to, and impact on, civil society

8 Defining university public engagement: definitional problems Different terms: community-university engagement, community-university partnership, community engagement, service learning, outreach, social engagement, knowledge exchange, learning in the community, volunteering, and social learning Different meanings: widening participation, civic engagement, tackling social exclusion Different levels: local, regional, national,

9 Dimensions of university public engagement Dimension of public engagementExamples of engagementPossible higher level outcomes 1 Public access to facilities  Access to university libraries  Access to university buildings and physical facilities e.g. for conferences, meetings, events, accommodation, gardens etc  Shared facilities e.g. museums, art galleries  Public access to sports facilities  Summer sports schools  Increased public support for the institution  Better informed public  Improved health and well-being 2 Public access to knowledge  Access to established university curricula  Public engagement events e.g. science fairs; science shops  Publicly accessible database of university expertise  Public involvement in research  Increased quality of life and wellbeing  Increased social capital/social cohesion/social inclusion  Enhanced public scholarship 3 Student engagement  Student volunteering  Experiential learning e.g. practice placements; collaborative research projects  Curricular engagement  Student-led activities e.g. arts, environment etc  Increased student sense of civic engagement  Increased political participation 4 Faculty engagement  Research centres draw on community advisers for support/direction  Volunteering outside working hours e.g. on trustee Boards of local charities  Staff with social/community engagement as a specific part of their job  Social benefit to the community  Increased staff sense of civic engagement  Institutionalised faculty engagement  More ‘grounded’ research

10 Dimensions of university public engagement Dimension of public engagementExamples of engagementPossible higher level outcomes 5 Widening participation (equalities and diversity)  Improving recruitment and success rate of students from non-traditional backgrounds through innovative initiatives e.g. access courses, financial assistance, peer mentoring,  A publicly available strategy for encouraging access by students with disabilities  Improved recruitment and retention of undergraduates, especially from excluded communities 6 Encouraging economic regeneration and enterprise in social engagement  Research collaboration and technology transfer  Meeting regional skills needs and supporting SMEs  Initiatives to expand innovation and design e.g. Assistive Technology for people with disabilities  Business advisory services offering support for community-university collaborations (e.g. social enterprises)  Local/regional economic regeneration  Social and economic benefit to the community 7 Institutional relationship and partnership building  University Division or office for community engagement  Collaborative community-based research programmes responsive to community-identified needs  Community members on Board of Governance  Public ceremonies, awards,  Website with community pages  Policies on equalities; recruitment; procurement of goods and services; environmental responsibility  More effective strategic investment of resources  Conservation of natural resources and reduced environmental footprint  Expanded and effective community partnerships  Social and economic benefit to the community

11 Putting it into practice!

12 Demonstrating the worth of engagement at the University of Brighton The Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP) aims to: –Ensure that the University's resources (intellectual and physical) are available to, informed by and used by its local and sub-regional communities –Enhance the community's and University's capacity for engagement for mutual benefit –Ensure that Cupp’s resources are prioritised towards addressing inequalities with our local communities

13 Evaluating the CUPP programme Early small scale project evaluations and Helpdesk audit Showed CUPP was a successful mechanism for developing community-university partnerships Led to the university including social engagement as a core part of its Corporate Plan ( ) and… Baseline audit of university community engagement (2008)

14 The REAP metrix A self-assessment and measuring tool designed to capture inputs, outputs and outcomes for both university and community partners Reciprocity; Externalities; Access; Partnership Tackles the issue of establishing baseline data consistently across the SE Coastal Communities programme Provides evidence for the value added to the university and to the community involved in the partnership Pearce et al (2007) The Ivory Tower and Beyond: the University of Bradford at the Heart of its Communities

15 A measurement model of non- market economic activity Inputs ActivitiesOutputsOutcomes Project expenditure In-kind economic activity generated Total in-kind and match funding Monetised Economic Value Added Measure Measurable achievements Staff time; space; student vol; overheads costs etc Additional funding; community input; trading Value in relation to inputs Measurement problems Multiple accounting policies; overheads not additionality? What is the claim behind the figures? Uses input methods What is additionality to society as opposed to projects? Outcome measure needs to be seen in the context of wider social outcomes

16 Community partnership and resource evaluation Total input valuationValue creation InputsInput value (£)ActivitiesOutputsOutcomesImpact Grant funding Project grant (£) (staff and resources) Leveraged activity Leveraged outputs Input valuation + Trading income Leveraged outcomes Social value University leveraged input Staff time Additional resources Overheads Student volunteers Community leveraged Input Community volunteers Additional resources MeasurementLeveraged value (£)Indicators-basedSROI/social impact measures

17 Activity Buddies Total input valuation Value creation InputsInput value (£)ActivitiesOutputsOutcomesImpact Grant funding Project grant £44,750 (staff and resources) Leveraged activity Leveraged outputs Input valuation + Trading income = £102,243 Leveraged outcomes Social value University leveraged input Staff time: £32,209 Additional resources: £10,500 Overheads: £8,015 Student volunteers: £3,568 Community leveraged Input Community volunteers: £2,493 Additional resources: £708 MeasurementLeveraged value £102,243 (128%) Indicators-basedSROI/social impact measures

18 Hart, A., Northmore, S. & Gerhardt, C. (2009) Briefing Paper: Auditing, benchmarking and evaluating university public engagement, Bristol: NCCPE Hart, A., & Northmore, S. (2010) Auditing and Evaluating University– Community Engagement: Lessons from a UK Case Study, Higher Education Quarterly (published online ) Contact: Simon Northmore, Community University Partnership Programme, University of Brighton


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