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. Aston pioneered the integrated placement year concept over 50 years ago, and more than 73% of Aston students take a placement year, the highest percentage in the UK. In September 2021 it was announced that Aston University was shortlisted for University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2021.In 2020, Aston University was named "University of the Year" by The Guardian, and the newspaper also awarded Aston Students' Union its "Buildings That Inspire" award. The Times Higher Education Awards named Aston University as its "Outstanding Entrepreneurial University" in 2020. In 2021, the university announced plans to close its Department of History, Languages and Translation, focusing instead on health, engineering, and business. This decision led to protests from members of the university, as well as humanities scholars broadly.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; it expanded and by 1917 was also teaching botany and other subjects to trainee teachers. 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. The Birmingham Municipal Technical School in Suffolk Street, founded in 1895. Queen Elizabeth II opening the Main Building at Gosta Green in 1955.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.Our values and culture are vital to the successful delivery of the Aston University Strategy 2018 to 2023. The University recognises its responsibility to be an exemplar of behaviour and conduct in all that it does, and it aspires to lead the HE sector in terms of its approach to ethical practice. The University's values, as identified in the Strategy, are to be professional and ambitious; to be innovative and collaborative; and to be ethical and inclusive.The University’s reputation and the trust of its beneficiaries and stakeholders are among its most important assets – although these take a long time to attain they may be lost very quickly. Acting with integrity is not only the right thing to do, it protects the interests of our beneficiaries; improves our performance; and differentiates us in an increasingly competitive and complex global higher education market. All members of the Aston community have an important role to play in achieving these goals and creating a culture where ethical conduct is intrinsic to the University’s cultural foundations.The Aston MissionProvide high-quality teaching and student supportProduce collaborative research with high translation and impactPromote skill building and industry developmentFoster community engagement and developmentThe 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 placement year system, and the maintenance of strong links with industry and the local area, arise naturally from the institution’s history. We are very aware of the important role we have to play in society, and we ensure that our students, staff, communities and business partners succeed to their full potential, regardless of background.
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Aston University has retained its HR Excellence in Research Award following its 10-year review.Read more →
Aston University has been recognised as a leading university for delivering social mobility for its students, according to new research.Read more →
The event at Conference Aston during Birmingham Tech Week 2021 was opened by Peter Thompson, Head of Cyber Security, UK Defence and Security Exports, Department for International Trade. Line up of speakers included experts from the Institute of the Directors, Cyber Security and Digital Identity Directorate, DCMS and the Opel/Vauxhall Finance. The Centre aims to develop cyber security capability in both research and commercial solutions.Read more →
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