Exploring engaged spaces in community-university partnership

  • Ceri Davies University of Brighton
  • Nick Gant University of Brighton
  • Angie Hart University of Brighton
  • Juliet Millican University of Brighton
  • David Wolff University of Brighton
  • Bethan Prosser University of Brighton
  • Stuart Laing University of Brighton
Keywords: Placemaking, Public engagement, Participation, Knowledge exchange,


The Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP) has been operating at the University of Brighton for the past 10 years. This article explores the different types of space we think need to exist to support a variety of partnership and engaged work. We therefore explore our understandings of shared or ‘engaged’ spaces as a physical, virtual and relational phenomenon in this context.

Author Biographies

Ceri Davies, University of Brighton

Ceri Davies leads CUPP’s programme of community knowledge exchange and manages a seed fund which supports academics and community partners to work together. She has recently submitted her PhD which looked at the intersection of knowledge, power and participation in community-university collaborations. Ceri has a background in the community & voluntary sector and currently chairs the board of an infrastructure organisation focused on community and voluntary action.

Nick Gant, University of Brighton

Nick Gant is Assistant Head of School for Research and Social Engagement at The University of Brighton, School of Art Design and Media. He is an award winning designer and published academic and as the cofounder of Community21(.org) he works with fellow academic researchers, public sector organizations and diverse communities to collaboratively design tools for community engagement, resilience and sustainability. 

Angie Hart, University of Brighton

Angie Hart is Professor of Child, Family and Community Health at the University of Brighton and the Academic Director of its Community University Partnership Programme. Together with students, practitioners and community members, Angie has published widely on community engagement and resilience based approaches to supporting children and families. She co-founded Boingboing a not for profit organisation which supports resilience based practice (www.boingboing.org.uk). Her resilience research profile is underpinned by professional and personal experience.

Juliet Millican, University of Brighton

Juliet Millican is deputy director of the Community University Partnership Programme. Her research interests include Student Community Engagement and the role of universities in conflict and peacebuilding. 

David Wolff, University of Brighton

David Wolff is Director of the Community University Partnership Programme. Prior to this David worked in the community and voluntary sector in the fields of homelessness, advice and information services, project management and in the use of IT. He has occupied roles as a service delivery worker, manager, director, researcher, teacher and consultant.

Bethan Prosser, University of Brighton

Bethan Prosser is the Community Helpdesk Manager at CUPP and is the first point of contact for those outside the university wanting to access its resources. With a background in the community voluntary sector, Bethan works closely with local community enquirers to broker partnerships around research, teaching and learning and the student experience. 

Stuart Laing, University of Brighton

Stuart Laing is currently Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Brighton. He previously served for over 20 years as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Brighton and, prior to that, as Dean of the School of Cultural and Community Studies at the University of Sussex.


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