What is Public Engagement?

According to the Public Engagement Framework, the document that guides and supports public engagement at Memorial, public engagement at Memorial can be defined as:

"Collaborations between people and groups within Memorial and people and groups external to the University – i.e., the "public" – that further Memorial's mission. Drawing on the knowledge and resources brought by all involved, public engagement involves mutual respect, mutual contributions and mutual benefits for all participants."

This definition highlights the mutual benefits and mutual contributions advanced through public engagement. It also highlights that public engagement by Memorial is consistent with the university's mission as a public university. The vast majority of public engagement activities will be specifically linked to teaching and learning, research, scholarship and creative activities.

The two-way nature of public engagement means that as Memorial contributes its expertise, knowledge and resources to public opportunities and needs, the university is also enriched and advanced by the practical perspectives, knowledge and experience gained.

As the following illustration shows, teaching & learning, research and public engagement can overlap in a number of ways, and to varying degrees.

For example, teaching and learning experiences are enriched through public engagement (in the forms of service-learning, work terms, etc.), as students are exposed to an array of perspectives and have the opportunity to practise what they are learning. Research, scholarship and creative activity are strengthened through public engagement when partners and collaborators contribute knowledge and understanding to the development of data, theory and research products.