Understanding university engagement capacity and capability before and during the Covid-19 pandemic


University staff engage with external organisations and individuals as part of teaching, research, community programs and events. The interactions, relationships and networks that connect us rely on regular and open communication – but in 2020 COVID-19 has meant we have had to change the way we do everything.  How have we changed the way they engage with the wider community, government and organisations?

A team at the Melbourne CSHE are investigating:

  1. What impacts had the COVID-19 pandemic on the University’s engagement activities, capacity and capability?
  2. What professional development support do university staff need to overcome and thrive in their engagement efforts in the post-COVID-19 recovery?
  3. What are the effective professional development models to strengthen post-COVID-19 engagement practices?


The purpose of the study is to evaluate the professional development needs of university staff in public engagement as they move through different phases of COVID-19 related disruptions. The scale and scope of these disruptions are unknown. Hence the proposed study is designed to collect data to better understand implications of the pandemic to the ways in which staff engage with our society.


  • Dr Siew Fang Law, The University of Melbourne
  • Professor William Locke, The University of Melbourne
  • Joann Cattlin, The University of Melbourne

More information

Dr Siew Fang Law, Melbourne CSHE, The University of Melbourne