Widening Engagement | University of Oxford
Oxford University Press facade
Oxford University Press facade
Credit: OUP

Widening Engagement

41. The endeavour to widen engagement with society pervades Oxford’s activities, informing research, enhancing teaching and learning, and increasing our impact on society.

Commitment 7. To serve society by promoting and contributing to economic, cultural, and social advances through the accessibility of Oxford’s ideas, skills, and expertise.

42. Enterprise and innovation are fundamental to Oxford’s continuing research success. They position Oxford and its environment as a place of opportunity which will attract the best researchers and students from around the world. We will foster creative, entrepreneurial activity by our staff and students and stimulate collaboration with research users to increase uptake of research outputs.

43. The expertise and knowledge of our academics, staff, and students will inform and advise a wide range of organisations. These will include industry, government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and community groups locally, nationally, and globally.

44. The University will promote more interaction with business and industry, including through continuing professional development, collaborative research, translational activities, consulting, licensing, spin-out companies, and commercial ventures. There will be a focus on working in partnership and on developing skills and innovative services to drive sustainable economic growth. We will enhance our technology transfer activities, maximising social and economic benefits worldwide through the application of Oxford’s research outputs and expertise.

Commitment 8. To share the fruits of research as widely as possible.

45. We will contribute specialist knowledge to public debate and the impact of our research will be enhanced by a stronger digital presence. The public will be involved in the University’s research activities through workshops and presentations on key issues in society and as co-researchers and contributors to research projects. Podcasts, blogs, arts and science festivals, and open days will further open up the transmission of our research.

46. Oxford University Press furthers the University's objectives of excellence in scholarship, research, and education through its diverse and highly international publishing programme. OUP will find new and additional ways of supporting its users and customers, for example through teacher education, delivering digital learning and assessment platforms, and creating online research tools.

Commitment 9. To develop a strong and constructive relationship with the wider communities of Oxford by contributing to the cultural, health, social, and economic wellbeing of the local and regional community.

47. We will ensure that the University has a co-ordinated and consistent programme of wider community engagement to enable it to play its part in enhancing the life of the city economically, culturally, and environmentally, and to develop long-term relationships with the local community. We will work with local government and cross-sector partnerships to promote the region as a hub for knowledge intensive activities, and we will encourage inward investment to both start up and scale up new ventures. We will build on the University’s growing links with the Harwell Oxford science, innovation and business campus, expand research and business incubation at our Begbroke Science Park, and intensify spin-out activities including through Oxford University Innovation. We will encourage more of our graduates to work in or create businesses and social enterprises in Oxfordshire.

48. Our involvement in providing for clinical research, health education and training and enhancing high-quality patient care will be maintained through NHS and university agreements with local NHS trusts as well as through collaborative working with local authorities, industry and charities. Specifically, working with both the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust we are part of a National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Centre and a National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Unit that aim to improve the translation of basic scientific developments into clinical benefits for patients and to reinforce the position of the UK as a global leader in healthcare related research. We are also part of an Academic Health Science Network in the Thames Valley and the adjoining areas that aims to provide evidence-based best care for our patients and population, to innovate and, in so doing, to deliver new opportunities to create wealth.

49. The University’s engagement with local schools is wide-ranging, including Initial Teacher Training, collaborative research projects, action learning sets, a leadership development programme and OUP’s employee volunteering programme. Tutoring of local school children is among the large portfolio of community volunteering activities undertaken by students through the Oxford Hub. The University’s Department of Education will work to strengthen and co-ordinate links between Oxford schools, the Department, and the wider University, and will work with organisations in Oxford to co-ordinate these activities with other volunteering programmes and business initiatives.

50. We will continue to encourage use of the University’s libraries, museums, parks, and sports facilities by the public, and will develop the museums’ and libraries’ vibrant programmes of outreach activities. The opportunity to study with the Department for Continuing Education will continue to be realised through both face to face programmes and online learning.

51. As one of the original signatories of the Low Carbon Oxford charter, we are committed to city-wide collaboration on environmental matters, including the identification of applied research to deliver low carbon solutions locally.