Universities are a vital source of knowledge for policymakers

Universities are a vital source of knowledge for policymakers

Thinktanks make valuable contributions to the development of public policy, and their work often gets a lot of coverage and attention. But they usually have an ideological bias, and carry out only limited research in comparison to academic standards.

Researchers at The University of Manchester, on the other hand, work hard to eliminate bias, and carry out massive amounts of rigorous, in-depth research. This doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, and that is partly our fault, for not communicating key findings and policy implications effectively to the right audiences.

Manchester Policy Blogs is one of the ways in which we are opening up communications between ourselves, policy audiences and the wider public about the policy implications of our work as a world-leading University.

Since launching the blogs in 2013, they have attracted over 100,000 views, with over 220 posts from over 200 authors. Posts – which take just a few minutes to read – generate healthy debate online and via social media, and provide a rich source of information and evidence for policymaking.

We have a small number of specialist streams such as Whitehall Watch and Devolution. But we produce posts covering many other areas, and our blog editor works hard to ensure a rich stream of perspective and analysis on topical issues.

Some of our posts will, of course, contain a degree of opinion – but it is opinion rooted in expertise at the highest level and years of high-quality research. Indeed, it is because of our reputation for research that experts often get asked to contribute to policy discussions – on everything from mental health to European minority languages.

Welcome to Manchester Policy Blogs – we hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoy putting it together. And if you feel like contributing yourself, please get in touch.