Cranfield University is committed to fostering public engagement, recognising its value for research and wider society.  As part of our corporate responsibility we also take into account the social, community and environmental consequences of all our activities.

The University organises, sponsors and supports a variety of public engagement events each year which colleagues are actively encouraged to participate in. In addition, we recognise that many of our staff are also engaged in a wide range of public engagement and outreach activities on an individual basis.

With a national shortage of people going into engineering, the University is committed to engaging with local employers to determine what skills are needed regionally and in turn, engaging with the local community, especially school age children and beyond to encourage them to consider a career in STEM areas.

Because of our charitable status there are some limitations on how we can support schools. Please check the list of FAQs to see what we are able to support, or browse our recent public engagement and outreach activity. 

Our charities

We use our expertise to positively impact the lives of others through our charitable work.

The Cranfield Trust

For more than 25 years, the Cranfield Trust has provided free management support to UK-based non-profit organisations. The Trust was founded at Cranfield, at the suggestion of HRH The Princess Royal, now its Patron, and is an independent charity working with alumni of Cranfield and other leading international business schools. Through its register of 900 commercial sector managers, who give their time as volunteer consultants, the Trust supports 300 charities a year with individual consultancy projects, and a further 1,000 with online information and advice and with masterclass learning events.


Since 1969, SAFAD has sent more than 340 Cranfield graduate volunteers to over 37 countries in the developing world to work on small-scale development projects run by non-governmental organisations.

Unique among British organisations operating in the less developed world, SAFAD is a registered charity set up by Cranfield University and run on a voluntarily basis by our students.

SAFAD has been able to improve thousands of lives by alleviating poverty and helping to create sustainable livelihoods using volunteers with skills in areas such as:

  • Water supply and management;
  • Sanitation;
  • Health and hygiene;
  • Agroforestry, agriculture and soil conservation;
  • Education, training and research;
  • Small business enterprises;
  • Intermediate technologies.


Q. Which charities does the University support?
A. As a University, Cranfield supports three charities Silsoe Aid for Appropriate Development (SAFAD), The Cranfield Trust and Engineers without Borders. 
The University itself is an Exempt Charity under the terms of the Charities Act 2011. Under this Act, universities are supervised by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Q. Can I arrange a group visit to the University?
A. The University runs events throughout the year where schools are invited to attend. Please email if you would like your school or group to be added to the invitation list.

Q. Can I arrange for someone from the University to speak at my school?

A large number of our staff have signed up to be STEM Ambassadors, who regularly visit schools to talk about their areas of work. You can find out more about the STEM Ambassador scheme on the STEM website and you can email us at

Q. What public engagement activities do you get involved with?

A. The University runs a range of events and supports/exhibits at others. Events include Women in Engineering Day, Soapbox Science, air shows and more.