Aston University

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.[5] 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.[6] 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.

Aston pioneered the integrated placement year concept over 50 years ago,[7][8][9] with more than 70% of Aston students taking a placement year, the highest percentage in the UK.[10]

Aston University
Aston University Coat of Arms
MottoForward
TypePublic
Established1895 (granted University Status by Royal Charter in 1966)[1]
Endowment£2.93 million(as of July 2015)[2]
ChancellorSir John Sunderland
Vice-ChancellorAlec Cameron
Students14,162 (2016/17)[3]
Undergraduates11,035 (2016/17)[4]
Postgraduates2,570 (2016/17)[4]
Location,
UK

Coordinates: 52°29′10″N 1°53′22″W / 52.4860°N 1.8895°W
Campus60 acres (24 hectares), urban
ColoursBlk n' Red
AffiliationsACU
CDIO Initiative
EUA
Universities UK
AACSB
M5 Universities
Websitewww.aston.ac.uk
Aston University Logo

History

Predecessor institutions

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.[11] The school changed its name in 1927 to the Birmingham Central Technical College,[11] to reflect its changing approach to teaching technology.

The Birmingham Municipal Technical School
The Birmingham Municipal Technical School in Suffolk Street, founded in 1895.[12]
The Queen opening the Main Building at Gosta Green in 1955
The Queen opening the Main Building at Gosta Green in 1955.[13]

In 1951, the Technical College was renamed the College of Technology, Birmingham[11] 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.[11] 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.[14] In 1955, the College of Advanced Technology was opened by Her Majesty The Queen.[15] The college expanded again to a design by the City Architect of Birmingham Alwyn Sheppard Fidler between 1957 and 1965.[16]

University status

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.[17]

Astonmainbuilding
The main building with water sculpture Tipping Triangles by Angela Conner. The building is one of Europe's largest, freestanding brick buildings.[14]

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.[18]

2000 to present

Astonbraincentre
Aston Brain Centre.

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.[19]

In October 2014, Aston announced plans to launch Aston Medical School in October 2015.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22][23] Aston began working in close partnership with Capgemini, to create the first degree apprenticeship: Digital and Technology Solutions in 2012.[24]

Campus

Aston uni campus1
Aston's self-contained green campus, in the city centre of Birmingham.

Established in 1895 as the Birmingham Municipal Technical School,[25] The university is situated on a 60-acre campus at Gosta Green, in the city centre of Birmingham, England.[26] 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.

Sports

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.

Organisation and administration

Faculties and departments

All of the Aston University's faculties are based on one campus. They are organised into the following five schools:

School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Applied Physics
  • Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Engineering Systems and Management
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering and Design
School of Life and Health Sciences
  • Audiology
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Science
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Psychology
School of Languages and Social Sciences
  • Modern languages & translation studies
  • International relations, politics & European studies
  • English language
  • English literature
  • History
  • Sociology & public policy
Aston Business School
  • Aston Law
  • Economics and Strategy
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Marketing Group
  • Operations and Information Management Group
  • Work and Organisational Psychology
Aston Medical School

Coat of arms

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.[27]

Academic dress

Aston University Lake 2010
The Chancellor's Lake at the heart of the campus with triangular fountain, 2010.
Aston University EBRI Building
The EBRI building.
Birmingham - Aston University
Main Building

The academic dress for graduates of the University is as follows:

  • Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering
    • Gown: Black stuff of special design, having coat-type sleeve, narrow facings which continue round the neck and with extra wide gathers round the back
    • Hood: Black stuff, modified simple shape, faced inside for three inches with University lining
    • Hat: Black mortar board
  • Master of Science
    • Gown: Black stuff of special design, having coat-type sleeve, narrow facings which continue round the neck and with extra wide gathers round the back
    • Hood: Black stuff, modified simple shape, fully lined with University lining
    • Hat: Black mortar board
  • Master of Philosophy
    • Gown: Black stuff of special design, having coat-type sleeve, narrow facings which continue round the neck and with extra wide gathers round the back
    • Hood: Blue stuff, modified simple shape, fully lined with University lining
    • Hat: Black mortar board
  • Doctor of Philosophy
    • Gown: Claret colour cloth robe, having coat-type sleeve, narrow facings which continue round the neck and with extra wide gathers round the back
    • Hood: Modified simple shape, in University Red stuff, faced inside for three inches with University lining
    • Hat: Black cloth bonnet with cord and tassels of University Red
  • Doctor of Science
    • Gown: Same shape as for Doctor of Philosophy but in University Red, with facings on collar of University lining and gold cuffs on sleeves
    • Hood: Same shape as for Doctor of Philosophy but of gold silk and fully lined with University lining
    • Hat: Black velvet bonnet with cord and tassels in gold

Academic profile

Aston University Library 20110211
Library.

Research

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'.[28] 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.[29]

Rankings

Rankings
National rankings
Complete (2020)[30]34
Guardian (2020)[31]36
Times / Sunday Times (2019)[32]56
Global rankings
ARWU (2018)[33]901–1000
QS (2019)[34]
381=
THE (2019)[35]351–400
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[36]Gold

Aston University has been ranked 42nd in the world's leading universities under the age of 50.[37] The University has been rated 351-400th according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 358th in the QS World University Rankings.[37] Graduate employers ranked Aston University 51st in the world for graduate employability (2012 QS World University Rankings)[38] and was ranked in the top ten of all UK universities for the percentage of graduate employment record.[29]

Aston has consistently been ranked in the top 20-40th in The Times and Complete University Guide UK rankings.[39] 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.[40]

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.[29] The 2011 Performance Indicators (produced by HEFCE) showed Aston had one of the lowest drop-out rates in the UK at 3.9%.[29]

Aston students are the joint 15th most satisfied students out of 136 UK Universities, with the overall satisfaction level at 90%.[41] 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.[42]

Aston Business School

Founded in 1947[43] Aston Business School (ABS) is one of the largest and oldest business schools in the UK.[43][44] 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.[45] ABS was the first UK business school to be awarded the prestigious EQUIS accreditation, in 1999.[46] 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.[47]

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.[48] The paper also ranked Aston Business School as 4th in the world for careers in 2011.[49] 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'.[28] 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). [50]


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.[51] 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.

Student life

Aston Uni Lakeside 01
Part of the Lakeside student residences.
Aston University Student Accommodation phase 1
The William Murdoch and James Watt residences.
Stafford Tower, Aston University
Stafford Tower, prior to demolition, January 2014.
Aston University Student Village phase 2 completed - James Watt Queensway
Aston Student Village completed in August 2013.

Students' Union

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.

On 29 November 2006, the students voted to disaffiliate the Guild (now Union) from the National Union of Students, but voted to re-affiliate on 26 November 2014.[52]

Student housing

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.[53] 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.[54]

Another addition to Aston University student dwelling stock is the Lakeside complex on campus which was completed in August 1999.

Notable people

List of Chancellors

List of Vice-Chancellors

Lectures

Alumni

References

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  2. ^ "Financial Statements 2014-15" (PDF). Aston University. p. 25. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
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  4. ^ a b "2016/17 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (CSV). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  5. ^ Neil Handley. "Birmingham - Central Technical College and Aston University". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Aston second in the UK for teaching quality". Aston University.
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  8. ^ "50th Anniversary: Sir James Gracie Q&A". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Aston University". Complete University Guide. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
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  12. ^ "The Early Years". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  13. ^ "1950s". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
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  16. ^ Foster, Andy (2007) [2005]. Birmingham. Pevsner Architectural Guides. Yale University Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-300-10731-9.
  17. ^ "History and traditions". Aston.ac.uk. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  18. ^ "1980s". Aston.ac.uk. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  19. ^ "Aston University | Aston University Engineering Academy". Auea.co.uk. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Aston Medical School FAQ". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
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  22. ^ Offord, Paul (17 July 2017). "First degree apprentices in UK graduate". FE Week. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  23. ^ "First set of Capgemini degree apprentices graduate". ComputerWeekly.com. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  24. ^ Capgemini. "Creating the first degree apprenticeship in digital and technology solutions". NCUB. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
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  27. ^ "Aston University Arms". Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
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  31. ^ "University league tables 2020". The Guardian. 7 June 2019.
  32. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2019". Times Newspapers.
  33. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.
  34. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2019". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd.
  35. ^ "World University Rankings 2019". Times Higher Education.
  36. ^ "Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes". Higher Education Funding Council for England.
  37. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2015". Top Universities. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  38. ^ Birmingham Chamber Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ "Aston University". Top Universities. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  40. ^ "University ranking based on performance over 10 years" (PDF). The Times. London. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 April 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
  41. ^ "Students rate Aston highly in National Student Survey". Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  42. ^ "Top 10 universities for joining the super-rich". Telegraph.co.uk. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  43. ^ a b [1] Archived 16 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  44. ^ "The pope as a turnaround CEO". The Economist.
  45. ^ "Global 200 Business Schools Report - TopMBA.com" (PDF). TopMBA.com. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  46. ^ Nick Pandya. "Aston Business School". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  47. ^ "Aston Business School, Aston University | StudyLink". Pg.studylink.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
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  50. ^ "Aston University enters top 100 world ranking for Business and Management Studies". Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  51. ^ "Aston rated 'Top 10' in LinkedIn Rankings". Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
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  54. ^ [2] Archived 25 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  55. ^ a b "Business Directors join Advisory Board". .aston.ac.uk. 5 March 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
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External links

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Anneliese Dodds

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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.

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Christopher Bishop

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Doug Ellis

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Goodluck Ole-Medeye

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Gregor Townsend

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He was awarded an MBE in 1999 for services to rugby.

Jeff Rooker

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Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge

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Paul Drayson, Baron Drayson

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Richard Stanton (cave diver)

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