DCMS Select Committee visit to SOTA highlights REF and public policy opportunities

Representatives from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee visited the University to discuss how researchers can contribute to the work of Select Committees, All Party Parliamentary Groups and other fora to impact public policy.

At an event organised by the University’s Communications and Public Affairs team and the School of the Arts, issues discussed included the importance of policy impact for the higher education sector as a whole and how substantive engagement with Parliament can contribute towards the REF.

Mubeen Bhutta, Clerk for the DCMS Select Committee explained that oral evidence is the most well-known, but not the only way for academic experts to engage with parliamentary committees. Academic fellowships; responding to consultations from Government before a Bill is introduced to Parliament and communicating with the House of Commons Library subject specialists were all discussed as lesser-known, but equally influential public policy impact routes for researchers.

Mubeen’s presentation  highlighted DCMS inquiries currently open. Live examples included a major inquiry into the impact of disinformation and fake news, using academic and international evidence and a specialist advisor. An inquiry into immersive and addictive technologies involving evidence from media, legal and psychology academics from universities around the UK was also mentioned and a Government response to this is due to be published before the end of the year.

Sue Jarvis, Deputy Director of the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place, also presented at the session. She discussed how the Heseltine Institute supports organisations by providing a place-based approach to key urban challenges and interdisciplinary expertise and engages stakeholders and policymakers in local government, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Local Authorities.

You can view the slides from all the presentation’s here: SOTA Policy session Oct 2019 (002)

With further visits from other Select Committees in the pipeline, Sabina Frediani, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, said: “Engaging with local and central government is an integral part of demonstrating the transformative potential of the University’s world class research, and helps increase public understanding of the aims and activities of our University regionally, nationally and globally.

“If you are a researcher already engaged in this type of work, the University’s Communications and Public Affairs team is keen to hear from you.”

For further information on the Public Affairs team and the support available, please visit: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/intranet/external-relations/communications-and-public-affairs/communications-and-public-affairs-team/