An awards scheme, founded by the University of Brighton in memory of its former Vice-Chancellor Sir David Watson, has been relaunched and is inviting applications from around the world.
The ‘Professor Sir David Watson Award for Community-University Partnerships’ recognises the combined efforts of community and university partners working together towards making a difference to the lives of people in their shared community, and to “build a healthier, just and sustainable community”.
The scheme was launched last year when the award went to Cardiff University’s Community Gateway which works with residents and local organisations to help make the city’s Grangetown district and even better place to live and work by developing world class research, teaching and volunteering opportunities which respond to residents’ ideas.
The Professor Sir David Watson Award scheme, the first of its kind, is supported by an international group of networks and leaders in the field including the Talloires Network, a global network of community-engaged universities that Sir David helped to build and lead.
Sponsors also include the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, University of Winchester and Engagement Australia which helps develop best practice university-community engagement in Australia. Professor Budd Hall, the UNESCO co-chair for Community Based Research, is the Chair of the award Advisory Board.
Sir David, who died in February 2015, created the University of Brighton’s award-winning Community University Partnership Programme CUPP which has supported scores of partnership projects over the past 15 years. Each year hundreds of academics, students and community partners work together to produce benefits for the community whilst enriching teaching and research.
Dave Wolff, CUPP Director, officially relaunched the scheme at the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement in Edinburgh, said: “Sir David, who died in 2015, was principal of the University of Oxford’s Green Templeton College. He led Brighton to gaining university status in 1992 and continued as head of the institution for another 13 years, establishing CUPP in 2003
“His achievements are many but included within them are the profound leadership he offered in the establishment of the contemporary university’s role in society, particularly via partnerships with communities.
“Sir David said: ‘Community engagement from a university perspective often means taking a university back to the reasons for its founding. If we look carefully we will see nearly all institutions were put there to make life better for communities in terms of prosperity and social cohesion’.
“The award recognises the efforts of community and university partners working together for mutual benefit. It has been run in the spirit of community university partnerships: co-governed by a global range of colleagues from the university and community sectors, with the winner democratically chosen by individual donors.”
The award scheme, the first of its kind, last year attracted entries from around the UK and from countries abroad, including Pakistan and Canada.
To apply for the award and to donate to the scheme go to: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/davidwatsonaward/
University of Brighton
3 December 2018