London Higher received a grant from the HEFCE allocation to Higher Education Regional Authorities (HERAs) for a two year project to examine how London’s HEIs interact with local communities. The initial aims of the project were to cover social engagement and outreach by HEIs with a focus on children and young people, employment skills and engagement with older people.
The 18 month project started in December 2007. The project was originally titled “Social Impact by London’s HEIs” (SILH) and the term “social impact” was used to loosely cover community outreach activities by HEIs but the project did not attempt to measure changes in behaviour or non-economic/social returns from HEI engagement. They eventually decided to change social impact to social engagement in the project title, as this seemed more appropriate than other terms such as social contribution or social agenda.
London Higher published case studies on social and public engagement by London’s HEIs, including the Bikeoff initiative (based at the University of the Arts London). Download here