Huddersfield University is to be the home for the UK’s first specialist centre for academic research into public and stakeholder consultation with the launch of the Huddersfield Centre for Communication and Consultation Research (HCfCCR).
In a collaboration announced today between the University’s School of Music, Humanities and Media and the Consultation Institute, plans have been laid to make the Yorkshire-based facility the principal focus for research in a hitherto neglected area.
Keith Butterick, Director of the Centre, will build on existing expertise in areas such as media, journalism and public relations. He believes a close relationship with practitioner bodies such as the Consultation Institute are pivotal to ensure that research relates closely to the practical needs of thousands of professionals working in the fields of public engagement.
“The Consultation Institute” he says, “will help us identify priority areas for research. In addition their members will assist with academic placements, and we will try hard together to ensure our teaching reflects modern practices in consultation and stakeholder engagement worldwide.”
Rhion Jones, Programme Director of the Institute, claims that a serious investment in academic work on public consultation is long overdue. He believes that the UK is a world leader in public consultation and that the new Centre in Huddersfield will attract important sponsors from the public and private sectors.
“Organisations spend millions of pounds consulting a myriad stakeholders, but seldom is this money spent well or wisely. By understanding the costs and the benefits, the use of new – and older technologies, and by establishing auditable standards, Governments, at all levels, International organisations and blue-chip Corporations can achieve major improvements in the way they relate to citizens and customers. This Centre has a massive opportunity to put Huddersfield on the map in an important new area of study.”
The collaboration will be formally launched on 12th June, when the Institute will start celebrating its 10th Anniversary Year and when the University can unveil its plans to review a wide range of academic work on public consultation in preparation for its 2013/2014 first-year programme.
For further information please contact Rhion Jones: 01767 318350 (TCI) or Keith Butterick: 07986 651129 (University of Huddersfield)