In this article, we draw on open-text responses taken from an online attitudinal survey provided by public engagement (PE) professional service staff working across universities in the United Kingdom (UK). These are individuals employed to support and sometimes lead academic staff, principally research active academics, in PE activities. Their responses provide an insight into the current and future status of PE in UK higher education (HE) and shed light on the working lives of PE support staff and the various ‘professional’ and organizational challenges they face in attempting to embed and ameliorate PE activity within UK universities. More significantly, these accounts intimate the contraction and homogenization of the university mission, where the efficacy attributed to and investment made in PE is only guaranteed, when it is perceived as an undertaking that supports and ameliorates institutional competitiveness.
- SoE Centre for Higher Education Transformations
- Academic practice
- institutional change