Aston University is a public research university situated in the city centre of Birmingham, England. Aston began as the Birmingham Municipal Technical School in 1895, evolving into the UK's first College of Advanced Technology in 1956. Aston University received its royal charter from Queen Elizabeth II on 22 April 1966.
In 2017, Aston received recognition Times Higher Education for the second best teaching quality in the UK. For 2018, it was ranked in the top 55 universities in the UK by all major domestic and international league tables. Aston was ranked by QS as the 42nd best university in the world under 50 years old in 2015.
|Established||1895 (granted University Status by Royal Charter in 1966)|
|Endowment||£2.93 million(as of July 2015)|
|Chancellor||Sir John Sunderland|
|Campus||60 acres (24 hectares), urban|
|Colours||Blk n' Red
The origins of Aston University are a School of Metallurgy formed in the Birmingham and Midland Institute in 1875. The Birmingham Municipal Technical School separated from the Institute in 1895, teaching chemistry, physics, metallurgy and electrical engineering. In 1911, commercial classes were introduced and grew into an independent School of Commerce by 1916. The school changed its name in 1927 to the Birmingham Central Technical College, to reflect its changing approach to teaching technology.
In 1951, the Technical College was renamed the College of Technology, Birmingham and work began on the Main Building at Gosta Green. In 1956, it became the first elite designated College of Advanced Technology and underwent a major expansion. It moved into buildings that were constructed between 1949 and 1955 to a design by Ashley & Newman. Princess Margaret laid one of the first foundation stones at the base of the new building in 1951. The building is one of Europe's largest, freestanding brick buildings. In 1955, the College of Advanced Technology was opened by Her Majesty The Queen. The college expanded again to a design by the City Architect of Birmingham Alwyn Sheppard Fidler between 1957 and 1965.
It officially became the University of Aston in Birmingham on receipt of its Royal Charter on 22 April 1966 and the first Chancellor of the University, Lord Nelson of Stafford, was installed on 10 May. The Charter of the University outlines objectives appropriate to a technological university: "to advance, disseminate and apply learning and knowledge by teaching and research, for the benefit of industry and commerce and of the community generally: and to enable students to obtain the advantage of a university education, and such teaching and research may include periods outside the University in industry or commerce or wherever the University considers proper for the best advancement of its objects." The emphasis given to the sandwich course system, and the maintenance of strong links with industry, arises naturally from the institution's history. The motto of the University is the same as that of the City of Birmingham – Forward.
In 1983, Aston University, in partnership with Birmingham City Council and Lloyds Bank, established Birmingham Technology Ltd., which manages the Aston Science Park adjacent to the university site. The establishment of the Aston Science Park and Aston University's contribution to the city of Birmingham was fully recognised when the area was granted its own postal address “The Aston Triangle” in 1984, emphasising the campus as an official district of Birmingham. The logo of the establishment takes from the shape of the area.
Aston University hosted the British Science Festival in September 2010, said to be Europe's largest public science event.
Since May 2011, Sir John Sunderland has been the Chancellor of Aston University.
The university is a lead sponsor of Aston University Engineering Academy, a university technical college (UTC) which opened in September 2012. The UTC is for students aged 14 to 19 wishing to pursue further study and careers in engineering, and is located at the edge of the Aston University campus.
In October 2014, Aston announced plans to launch Aston Medical School in October 2015. The University also announced a £35 million cash injection for a major upgrade of the campus, including a new £19 million revamp of Aston Business School and improvement work to the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies and the School of Languages and Social Sciences.
In February 2017, Aston University launched its online programme website. Four of their MSc programmes are offered 100% online to students in the UK and worldwide, including the Aston Business School's MBA.
In July 2017, Aston became the first University in the UK to have degree apprenticeship graduates. Aston began working in close partnership with Capgemini, to create the first degree apprenticeship: Digital and Technology Solutions in 2012.
Established in 1895 as the Birmingham Municipal Technical School, The university is situated on a 60-acre campus at Gosta Green, in the city centre of Birmingham, England. As well as being home to over 3,000 students, the Aston University campus has the following amenities available: sports centres, swimming pool, 120 station gym, library, cafés, restaurants, pubs, shops, travel centre, hairdresser, health centre, dentist, places of worship, opticians, a bank, automated teller machines and plenty of outside space.
Aston University Library is on four floors and contains over 250,000 books, 800 current printed periodicals and has over 700 reader places. It provides online access to over 40 electronic databases and more than 3,400 electronic journals. The Library is open 24 hours a day to Aston students and staff during exam time, and on average, around 12 hours a day during term time.
Around the campus there are also various open-access IT suites, offering computer and internet access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They offer access to a range of software packages, database systems and computer-aided learning materials.
The Aston's sports facilities include a 25m swimming pool, sauna and steam room, two sports halls, 120 station Gym, weights and fitness rooms, two storey dance studio and 35 sports clubs. The campus also has two 3G floodlit sports pitches. Clubs train and compete, many in the British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) Leagues. Off campus the University manages a 40-acre sports ground with floodlit pitches, pavilion for all outdoor sports.
All of the Aston University's faculties are based on one campus. They are organised into the following five schools:
The university's arms were granted on 18 March 1955 by Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms to the Birmingham Corporation, for use by the former College of Technology. They were designed to show the College's connection with the City and with the teaching of technology. The arms consist of a shield and crest. The shield has two sections – the field (the main background) which is coloured blue and a chief (the broad band across the top of the shield) of silver. On the field is a diagonal line of five gold diamonds joined one to the other, similar to the first quarter of the Arms of the City of Birmingham and incorporated in the Arms of the College to show its connection with the City. This was adopted by the family of Birmingham which derived its name from the then hamlet of Birmingham, and provided the Lords of the Manor from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. On the chief is depicted an open book bound in red placed between two black hammers, showing the connection of the University with technology, the book representing learning and the hammers engineering and allied trades.
The crest is also designed to stress the pursuit of knowledge. It consists of a red torch held erect by a forearm between two branches of gold laurel. Having been originally worn on the helmet of a fully armed person, the crest is always placed on the top of the helm. The method of joining the crest to the helm was usually concealed by decoration and, in the University's arms, this is effected by the use of a wreath and a crown. The wreath is silver, red and black, these colours being taken from the shield. It is surmounted by a mural crown (resembling a wall), which is reserved in modern grants for persons and organisations connected with public corporations. The cloth mantling which hangs down from the top of the helm is the survival of the cloak which was originally worn to protect the armour, coloured in the two principal colours of the shield, blue and gold.
The academic dress for graduates of the University is as follows:
In the latest 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, Aston University was ranked in the top 12 in the UK in all four of its broad subject areas, with 86% of research undertaken was described as 'internationally significant'. 88% of Aston academic staff were submitted for research assessment, one of the highest proportions in the UK. According to the RAE, the university's strengths include Business and Management, General Engineering, Subjects Allied to Medicine (Optometry, Biology, Pharmacy and Psychology), Languages and European Studies.
|Times / Sunday Times (2019)||56|
|British Government assessment|
|Teaching Excellence Framework||Gold|
Aston University has been ranked 42nd in the world's leading universities under the age of 50. The University has been rated 351-400th according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 358th in the QS World University Rankings. Graduate employers ranked Aston University 51st in the world for graduate employability (2012 QS World University Rankings) and was ranked in the top ten of all UK universities for the percentage of graduate employment record.
Aston has consistently been ranked in the top 20-40th in The Times and Complete University Guide UK rankings. In The Sunday Times 10-year (1998–2007) average ranking of British universities based on consistent league table performance, Aston was ranked 37th overall in the UK.
In the 2011 National Student Survey, Aston's overall satisfaction score was 86%, well above the UK average of 83%. Aston also has had an 'overall satisfaction' rate above the UK average for each of the seven years of the National Student Survey so far. The 2011 Performance Indicators (produced by HEFCE) showed Aston had one of the lowest drop-out rates in the UK at 3.9%.
Aston students are the joint 15th most satisfied students out of 136 UK Universities, with the overall satisfaction level at 90%. Aston University was responsible for educating 2.3 per cent of the UK's millionaires, placing Aston among the top 10 UK universities for producing millionaires.
Founded in 1947 Aston Business School (ABS) is one of the largest and oldest business schools in the UK. The school was ranked 8th in the UK and 33rd in the world by QS in 2012 and it is among the top 60 of business schools in the world to hold triple accreditation. ABS was the first UK business school to be awarded the prestigious EQUIS accreditation, in 1999. ABS is the first institution in the UK to be allied with Beta Gamma Sigma by establishing a BGS Collegiate Chapter. In 2006 it opened a new £22m extension including new study rooms and two new lecture theatres.
The business school's Masters Management course was ranked by the Financial Times in 2012 as 5th in the UK, 33rd in Europe and 36th in the world. The paper also ranked Aston Business School as 4th in the world for careers in 2011. In the school's most recent Research Assessment Exercise in 2008, all research areas submitted ranked in the top 9 in the UK. 45% of the research submitted was judged to be 'excellent' or 'world-leading'. Top 1% of Business Schools Worldwide with Tripple Accreditation from AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS World Top 100 Universities for Business and Management Studies by QS Ranking (2019). 
Aston is 2nd in the UK for developing marketing professionals and 7th in the UK for finance professionals, based on the career outcome data of more than 313+ million LinkedIn members. The University was also 23 rd in the UK for accounting professionals. According to the Complete University Guide 2016, Aston is ranked 6th for marketing, 22nd for accounting and finance, 22nd for economics and 23rd for business and management studies in the UK.
Aston Students' Union (SU) (formerly Guild) is a non-profit, independent charity set up with the aim of representing and supporting its members who are primarily current students at Aston University. The SU operates a number of commercial and non-commercial services including; the Advice & Representation Centre (ARC), the Aston Athletic Union which supports the university sports clubs, the Aston Societies Federation which supports a large number of non-sporting societies, the SU Shop, Copyshop and B4 Bar. The SU is funded by grant income from Aston University and by funds raised by the SU's commercial services. The SU is led by a Trustee Board consisting of elected students and external trustees. Day-to-day management is by a team of permanent staff and by an elected student team called the Executive Committee. The SU building consists of 5 floors and is located in the centre of the Aston University Campus.
All of the student housing that Aston owned was sold to UNITE Students in 2016. In the 1970s, three tower blocks containing student accommodation were constructed on Aston University campus; Dalton, Lawrence and Stafford Towers. In April 2007, Aston University submitted a planning application for demolition of the three 1970s towers and to replace them with new student accommodation blocks as well as apartments for tutors, retail units and administrative offices. Lawrence and Dalton Towers were demolished on 8 May 2011. Stafford Tower, Gem Sports Centre and Lakeside Conference Centre were demolished on 27 April 2014 to make way for a new entrance to Aston University and a five-acre green space. The new landscaped area includes a new walkway into the university from the city centre and a pavilion, to be used for teaching and as a catering facility for outdoor events. The new buildings are named the William Murdoch, the James Watt, the Harriet Martineau and the Mary Sturge Residences.
Another addition to Aston University student dwelling stock is the Lakeside complex on campus which was completed in August 1999.
Sir George Adrian Hayhurst Cadbury (15 April 1929 – 3 September 2015) was Chairman of Cadbury and Cadbury Schweppes for 24 years, and a British Olympic rower. He was a pioneer in raising the awareness and stimulating the debate on corporate governance and produced the Cadbury Report, a code of best practice which served as a basis for reform of corporate governance around the world.Anneliese Dodds
Anneliese Jane Dodds (born 16 March 1978) is a British Labour and Co-operative Party politician who was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Oxford East in 2017. She was formerly a Member of the European Parliament for the South East England region from 2014–2017.Aston Business School
Aston Business School (ABS) is one of the largest business schools in Europe. Part of Aston University, ABS is situated in the centre of Birmingham, England.
It has been granted triple accreditation and was ranked 8th in the UK and 33rd in the world by QS in 2012. ABS was the first UK business school to be awarded the prestigious EQUIS accreditation, in 1999. ABS is the first institution in the UK to be allied with Beta Gamma Sigma by establishing a BGS Collegiate Chapter. ABS is one of only three business schools in the UK to be awarded a Small Business Charter Gold Award for its role in helping to support enterprise.Aston announced a £35 million cash injection for a major upgrade of the campus, including a new £19 million revamped business school. In 2006 it opened a new £22m extension including new study rooms and two new lecture theatres.Aston University Engineering Academy
Aston University Engineering Academy is a university technical college (UTC) that opened in September 2012 in the Gosta Green area of Birmingham, West Midlands, England. Aston University is the lead academic sponsor of the UTC, along with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network. Business partners of Aston University Engineering Academy include E.ON, Goodrich Corporation, National Grid plc, PTC and the Royal Air Force.The new purpose-built school building of the UTC is located at the edge of the Aston University campus.Birmingham City University
Birmingham City University (abbrev. BCU) is a university in Birmingham, England. Initially established as the Birmingham College of Art with roots dating back to 1843, it was designated as a polytechnic in 1971 and gained university status in 1992.
The university has three main campuses serving four faculties, and offers courses in art and design, business, the built environment, computing, education, engineering, English, healthcare, law, the performing arts, social sciences, and technology. A £125 million extension to its campus in the city centre of Birmingham, part of the Eastside development of a new technology and learning quarter, is opening in two stages, with the first phase having opened in 2013.It is the second largest of five universities in the city, the other four being Aston University, University of Birmingham, University College Birmingham, and Newman University. It is ranked third of the five according to the Complete University Guide, below both the University of Birmingham and Aston University. Roughly half of the university's full-time students are from the West Midlands, and a large percentage of these are from ethnic minorities. The university runs access and foundation programmes through an international network of associated universities and further education colleges, and has the highest intake of foreign students in the Birmingham area.Christine Allsopp
Christine Allsopp is an Anglican priest and was Archdeacon of Northampton.Born on 19 January 1947 she was educated at St Albans Grammar School for Girls and the University of Aston. A former research chemist, she was ordained deacon in 1989 and priest in 1994. After a curacy at Caversham she was Vicar of Bracknell and then Rural Dean of Alderbury before her collation as Archdeacon.She retired in September, 2013Christopher Bishop
Christopher Michael Bishop (born 7 April 1959) is the Laboratory Director at Microsoft Research Cambridge, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge.Derek Frank Lawden
Derek Frank Lawden (15 September 1919 – 15 February 2008) was a New Zealand mathematician of English descent.Doug Ellis
Sir Herbert Douglas Ellis, (3 January 1924 – 11 October 2018) was an English entrepreneur, best known as the chairman of Aston Villa Football Club. Ellis was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours List for charitable services.Goodluck Ole-Medeye
Goodluck Joseph Ole-Medeye (born 14 March 1958) is a Tanzanian CCM politician and Member of Parliament for Arumeru West constituency since 2010. He served as the Deputy Minister of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements.Gregor Townsend
Gregor Peter John Townsend, (born 26 April 1973 in Galashiels) is a Scottish rugby union coach and former player. He is currently the head coach of the Scotland national team having previously been an assistant coach from 2009 to 2012. As a player, he won 82 caps for Scotland and two for the British and Irish Lions. He is a former coach of Glasgow Warriors and was a player-coach for Border Reivers. As well as in Scotland, he played club rugby in Australia, England, France and South Africa.
He was awarded an MBE in 1999 for services to rugby.Jeff Rooker
Jeffrey William Rooker, Baron Rooker, PC (born 5 June 1941) is a British politician, who served as the Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Perry Barr from 1974 until 2001. He was later appointed to the House of Lords, being created a life peer on 16 June 2001 with the title Baron Rooker, of Perry Barr in the County of the West Midlands, where he was appointed to the Government for a year as the Minister of State for Asylum and Immigration. He resigned the Labour whip in 2009 after being appointed Chairman of the Food Standards Agency and sat as an Independent member in the House of Lords until 2013 when, standing down as FSA Chairman, he took up the Labour whip once again.Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge
Julia Elizabeth King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, (born 11 July 1954) is a British engineer and crossbench member of the House of Lords, present Chair of the Carbon Trust and was the Vice-Chancellor of Aston University from 2006 to 2016.Lucilla Wright
Lucilla Mary Wright (born 24 December 1979 in Birmingham, West Midlands) is an English field hockey international, who was a member of the England and Great Britain women's field hockey teams during the late 1990s and 2000s.Mark Mwandosya
Mark James Mwandosya (born 28 December 1949) is a Tanzanian CCM retired politician and a former Member of Parliament for Rungwe East constituency.Nic Robertson
Nic Robertson (born 1962) is the International Diplomatic Editor of CNN. He started his career in broadcasting in 1984 within the engineering arm of the UK's Independent Broadcasting Authority. He then worked as an engineer with TV-AM until 1989.Paul Drayson, Baron Drayson
Paul Rudd Drayson, Baron Drayson FREng PC (born 5 March 1960), is a British businessman, amateur racing driver and Labour politician. He was Minister of Science in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills until May 2010, where he replaced Ian Pearson. In June 2009 he was additionally appointed as Minister of State for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform at the Ministry of Defence. After losing his ministerial positions in the General Election 2010 he decided to devote himself totally towards his motorsports company Drayson Racing Technology. He is chairman and CEO of Drayson Technologies Ltd.Richard Stanton (cave diver)
Richard William Stanton, (born 1961) also known as Rick Stanton, is a British civilian cave diver who specializes in rescues through the Cave Rescue Organisation and the British Cave Rescue Council. He has been called "one of the world's most accomplished cave-divers", "the face of British cave diving," and "the best cave diver in Europe". Stanton has lived in Coventry for many years, and was formerly a firefighter with the West Midlands Fire Service for 25 years prior to his retirement. In 2018 he played a leading role in the Tham Luang cave rescue and was awarded the George Medal in the Civilian Gallantry List.Seema Malhotra
Seema Malhotra (born 7 August 1972) is a British Labour and Co-operative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Feltham and Heston since a by-election was held following the death of Alan Keen in 2011.
Universities and colleges in the West Midlands
|Further Education colleges|
|Sixth form colleges|