A-Level students explore political engagement at the Crick Centre

Crick students pageMatthew Flinders, Director of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Understanding of Politics, welcomed a group of 24 A-Level students from across Sheffield to the Crick Centre for a discussion on political engagement and ‘anti-politics’.

Students from Hill House, Birkdale, High Storrs and King Ecgbert schools visited the University on Wednesday 27 January and had a lively debate with Professor Flinders about new forms of politics, and political participation. The students considered whether traditional forms of politics need to adopt new forms of engagement in the face of declining voter turnout.

The Crick Centre is leading research on Participation, Protest and Transformation, which is considering whether using social media, occupying public spaces, ethical consumerism and even playing sport or making art can be political acts.

Professor Flinders said: “It was fantastic to meet with the A–Level students from Hill House, Birkdale, High Storrs and King Ecgbert for a lively discussion on political engagement.

“From the views of Russell Brand and the surprise victory of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, to social media and new ways to get involved in politics, our discussion demonstrated the diverse ways we ‘do politics’ in our everyday lives.

“Not only did the seminar give the students a taste of university life, but their thoughts and
ideas on political engagement will feed into the Crick Centre research on the transformation
of political participation.”

The aim of the Crick Centre is to study and promote the public understanding of politics in a manner that cultivates debate and encourages engaged citizenship—helping to bridge the gap that has opened up between politicians and the public, and between universities and the public.

The Crick Centre is keen to work with more schools as part of its commitment to ‘talking to multiple publics in multiple ways’.