This year will build of the fantastic success of the Festival in 2013 and 2014. Over the past two years the Festival of Learning has had circa 9,000 visits with an average event rating of 9 out of 10 and 96% of evaluated attendees stating that they would be very likely or likely to attend another event.
To further this success in 2015, we need you to host lectures, workshops and debates (or whatever type of engaging activity you can think of) showcasing the fantastic knowledge base of BU.
But why get involved?
- It is a great opportunity to celebrate life at BU and share your passion with a different audience.
- It can add fresh perspective to your research. Read this article about how public engagement can help you think about your research from a fresh perspective.
- It can change people’s lives. Here in the Festival office we have been moved by members of the public telling us about how the Festival has helped reignite a passion for learning, helped support the growth of the charity and even helped people to walk for the first time in years.
- It is a great networking opportunity. Colleagues involved in the Festival in previous years have developed partnerships which have, for example, led to collaborative PhD studentships.
- It is fantastic for skills development. Especially for early career researchers, the Festival offers an unprecedented opportunity to develop communication techniques which engage members of the public and builds confidence in communicating complex ideas (essential for a future lecturing career!)
- It helps to meet the expectation of funders and policy makers. The European Commission, HEFCE and our Research Councils (amongst others) expect researchers to demonstrate to the public the value of their research. The Festival provides of a great vehicle to do this as you will receive central support (e.g. for marketing) rather than going it alone.
- It can support student recruitment. And not just undergraduates, but those looking for postgraduate courses and short courses who have never before considered BU as a potential place to study.
What you need to know
- The call for proposals is now open and closes on 19th December at 12noon.
- You don’t have to run a long event. Many members of the public actually prefer to attend an event which only lasts an hour or so, rather than for a whole day.
- The Festival runs from 11-17th July 2015. Eager Festival followers will note that the Festival of Learning is being held slightly later this year. This is in order to ensure that our local schools and colleges are able to participate more fully in the Festival and to avoid clashes with examinations (both those being held by schools and Universities).
What to do next
- Got an idea for an event? Great! Click for further details here on how to submit an event
- Would like to get involved, but not sure how? Don’t worry, help is on hand! Contact Naomi Kay for guidance as to how to develop an event.
- Looking for inspiration? Why not check out the Festival of Learning website to see what we ran last year, or check out some other public engagement Festival sites such as the British Science Festival, British Festival of Nature or Cambridge Festival of Ideas.