Aston University

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Aston University
Aston arms.jpg
Motto "Forward"
Established 1875 (granted University Status by Royal Charter in 1966) [1]
Type Public
Endowment £1.9 million[2]
Chancellor Sir John Sunderland
Vice-Chancellor Dame Julia King
Students 10,900 [3]
Undergraduates 8,075 [3]
Postgraduates 2,825 [3]
Location Birmingham, England, UK
Coordinates: 52°29′10″N 1°53′22″W / 52.4860°N 1.8895°W / 52.4860; -1.8895
Campus 60 acres (240,000 m2), urban
Colours

Black and Red

                     
                     
Affiliations Association of Commonwealth Universities, CDIO Initiative, European University Association, Universities UK, AACSB
Website www.aston.ac.uk
Aston University Logo.png

Aston University is a research-led campus university situated at Gosta Green, in the city centre of Birmingham, England. Aston began as the Birmingham Municipal Technical School in 1895, evolving into the UK’s first elite College of Advanced Technology in 1956.[4] Aston University’s Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth II was granted on 22 April 1966.[5]

Graduate employers ranked Aston University 51st in the world for graduate employability (2012 QS World University Rankings)[6] and was ranked 5th out of all UK universities for the highest percentage of graduate employment record.[5] Aston has consistently featured in the top 10 of all UK universities for graduate employability for the last 20 years.[7] The University was a pioneer in the development of the student placement year concept,[8] with more than 70% of Aston students take placement year, the highest percentage in the UK.[9] In 2012 Aston was ranked as the 47th best university under 50 years old in the world according to the QS World University Rankings[10] and was also placed among the top 2% of universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings[11] and QS World University Rankings.[12] The University was also rated among the top 10 UK universities for producing millionaires.[13] Aston has performed well in the National Student Survey, with its highest ever score of 89% in 2013.[14] 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.[5] In the last Research Assessment Exercise in 2008, Aston University was ranked in the top 12 in the UK.[15] Average entry grades in 2011, around 395 UCAS points overall and ABB from best three A levels.[16] Places at Aston are in high demand, with applications to places ratio 6.5:1.[17] The student intake has increased by 41% in 2013 - the highest growth outside of London.[18]

Aston Business School (part of the university) celebrated its 60 year anniversary in 2007, one of the most established in Europe.[19] It is a highly selective, top-ranking business school,[20] among less than 1% of business schools in the world to be granted Triple accreditation.[21]

History[edit]

Aston's self-contained green Campus, in the city centre of Birmingham

The Aston University was founded in 1895 and granted its Royal Charter as Aston University in 1966. It separated from the Birmingham and Midland Institute in 1895 as The Birmingham Municipal Technical School,[22] it changed its name in 1927 to the Birmingham Central Technical College,[22] to reflect its changing approach to teaching technology.

In 1951 The Technical College was renamed the College of Technology, Birmingham[22] and work began on the Main Building at Gosta Green. In 1956, it became the first designated College of Advanced Technology and underwent a major expansion.[22] The first step took place when it moved to an area north of Jennens Road in 1955. It moved into buildings that were constructed between 1949 and 1955 to a design by Ashley & Newman. The college expanded again to a design by the City Architect of Birmingham Alwyn Sheppard Fidler between 1957 and 1965.[23]

It officially became the University of Aston in Birmingham on receipt of its Royal Charter on 22 April 1966.

Since May 2011 Sir John Sunderland has been the current Chancellor of Aston University.

Aston University hosted the British Science Festival in September 2010, said to be Europe's largest public science event.

Aston University Engineering Academy[edit]

The university is a lead sponsor of Aston University Engineering Academy, a new 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.[24]

Aston Science Park[edit]

The lake at the heart of the campus with triangular fountain, 2010
Aston University's Main Building

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.


Campus[edit]

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 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[edit]

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[edit]

Faculties and departments[edit]

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

  • School of Engineering and Applied Science
    • 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
    • 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

Coat of arms[edit]

The Aston University 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]

The motto of the University is the same as that of the City of Birmingham: "Forward".

The Clock Tower

Academic dress[edit]

Aston University - geograph.org.uk - 1032198.jpg

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[edit]

Library

Research[edit]

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,[11] 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. Grade 5 subjects include Business and Management, General Engineering, Subjects Allied to Medicine (Optometry, Biology, Pharmacy and Psychology), Languages and European Studies.[5]

EBRI Building


Rankings[edit]

Aston University has been ranked 47th in the world’s leading universities under the age of 50.[28] The University was also rated among the top 2% of universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings[11] and QS World University Rankings.[12] Graduate employers ranked Aston University 51st in the world for graduate employability (2012 QS World University Rankings)[6] and was ranked 5th out of all UK universities for the highest percentage of graduate employment record.[5]

Rankings
QS[29]
(2013/14, national)
45
QS[29]
(2013/14, world)
399
THE[30]
(2013/14, national)
> 50
THE[30]
(2013/14, world)
> 400
Complete[31]
(2014, national)
27
The Guardian[32]
(2014, national)
30
Times/Sunday Times[33]
(2014, national)
=29

Aston University is consistently ranked in the UK's top 20 or 30 in The Times and Complete University Guide rankings.[34] In The Complete University Guide 2010, the university was ranked 13th in the UK,[35] rated 1st for student life, and one of the UK's friendliest universities by FHM and Virgin Student.[36]

The university is highly regarded for postgraduate level success and has been consistently ranked in the top 10 for the last 15 years.[37] It is in the UK top 5 for Masters in Management Programmes and top 40 in World rankings.[37] Ranked in The World's top 100 Universities for Graduate Employer recognition (51st).[37] Out of 126 UK Universities and Colleges, it is ranked fifth for being one of the UK's Greenest Universities[37]

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.[5] The 2011 Performance Indicators (produced by HEFCE) showed Aston had one of the lowest drop-out rates in the UK at 3.9%.[5]

Aston Business School[edit]

Founded in 1947 [19] Aston Business School (ABS) is one of the largest and oldest business schools in the UK.[38][19] ABS attracts leading academics and key thinkers from all over the world. It is a highly selective, top-ranking business school, among only 57 institutions worldwide (i.e. less than 1% of business schools globally) to be granted Triple accreditation: EQUIS by the EFMD, AMBA and the AACSB. It is considered as one of the most firmly established research based Business Schools in the UK.[39] 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.[40]

Aston Business School is consistently high in both the Financial Times and Economist rankings. The Financial Times Masters in Management Ranking 2012 ranks Aston as 5th in the UK, 33rd in Europe and 36th in the world.[41] Aston Business School rated by the Financial Times as 4th in the world for careers.[42] Aston was rated first for employability and MBA graduates receive a 99% salary increase by the FT and first for student diversity by Economist Which MBA 2008.

Aston Business School Undergraduate programmes are consistently ranked in the UK's Top 10 for Business and Management degrees in the Times/Complete University Guides. The MSc programmes were ranked 3rd in the UK and 18th in the world in the 2008 FT Masters in Management rankings. With International Business, Marketing and Corporate Strategy in the top 10 in the world, career progression associated with completion of the Aston MSc was rated first globally by the FT.

In 2007, Aston Business School was rated one of the top 30 business schools in Europe by the Financial Times.[43] It is one of only 27 business schools worldwide to have triple accreditation from the three largest MBA ranking associations – AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS.[44] In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (2008) it came as the 9th in the UK for research excellence. 15% of research submitted was world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour; a further 45% was internationally excellent. Overall, 95% of Aston Business School research was internationally significant with 95% of academic staff in the School submitted for assessment, including many early career researchers.[45]

Student life[edit]

Students' Union[edit]

Aston Students' Union (formerly Guild) is a non-profit organisation set up with the aim of involving and representing the student body of Aston. The Union provides sports clubs, societies and Welfare Services, partially funded by the money accrued from the Union's commercial services.[citation needed] The Union is run by a team of permanent staff and by an elected team called the Executive who follow the rules set out in the Guild Constitution. The Union 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.

Student housing[edit]

Part of the Lakeside student residences
Two of the three 1970s student halls of residence. Now demolished

All of the accommodation in Aston University is now en-suite – 3,000 rooms in total. All campus accommodation is less than five minutes' walk from the main building, and approximately five minutes' walk from Birmingham city centre. In the 1970s, three tower blocks containing student accommodation were constructed on Aston University campus; Dalton, Lawrence and Stafford Towers. Stafford Tower has two flats per floor, each with nine single study bedrooms each flat had its own kitchen and they both shared a large bathroom. Lawrence and Dalton Towers were demolished on 8 May 2011.[46]

Another addition to Aston University student dwelling stock is the Lakeside complex on campus. Completed in August 1999, it cost £14,240,000 and has flats for approximately 650 students. The building won the Best Public Building award at the 2001 Brick Development Association Awards.

On 5 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. On 5 July 2007, the application was approved and work commenced in January 2008 on phase 1. Phase 1 was completed in 2010 and Phase 2 opened in September 2013. There is also a new artificial floodlit sports pitch, chaplaincy, tesco supermarket, common rooms and accommodation offices. The demolition of the existing towers will take place for phases 2 and 3.[47] The entire scheme was completed in 2013. Upon completion there will be 2,345 bedrooms in the development alone, with 650 more ensuite rooms provided at Lakeside Residences. All the new accommodation is to be en-suite but rooms/flats will be differentiated in terms of size and facilities in order to provide students with a range of different priced rooms. Aston Student Village project will cost an estimated £215 million.[48] Phase 1 cost £57 million. Start on site date was 30 October 2008 and opened in September 2010 ready for the new term. Phase 1 buildings consist of two sections at a max height of 18 storeys with 7 and 5 ensuite bedroom apartments sharing a spacious kitchen. The buildings were named William Murdoch Residences and James Watt Residences.

Phase 1 completed in 2010 named after William Murdoch and James Watt

On 8 May 2011, both Dalton and Lawrence accommodation towers were demolished to make way for the above improvements. Phase 2 was built between 2011 and 2013. Once completed in Autumn 2013, they were named Harriet Martineau Residences and Mary Sturge Residences.[49]

Aston Student Village phase 2 completed August 2013 seen from James Watt Queensway - named after Harriet Martineau and Mary Sturge


Aston Brain Centre
Aston Business School

Notable people[edit]

List of Chancellors[edit]

List of Vice-Chancellors[edit]

Alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ History
  2. ^ "Financial Statements 2005–2006". Aston University. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  3. ^ a b c HESA data
  4. ^ College optometrists.org
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Complete University Guide
  6. ^ a b Birmingham Chamber
  7. ^ http://www.aston.ac.uk/study/graduate-employability/facts-figures/
  8. ^ http://www.aston.ac.uk/clearing/why-choose-aston/
  9. ^ http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/aston
  10. ^ Top 50 universities under 50
  11. ^ a b c Archive of Times Higher Education Rankins
  12. ^ a b QS World University Rankings
  13. ^ The Telegraph
  14. ^ source 2013 - HEFCE https://www.hefce.ac.uk/whatwedo/lt/publicinfo/nationalstudentsurvey/nationalstudentsurveydata/2013/
  15. ^ http://www1.aston.ac.uk/research/rae/
  16. ^ http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/aston
  17. ^ http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/aston
  18. ^ http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/revealed-winners-and-losers-in-student-numbers-game/2010734.article
  19. ^ a b c http://www.abs.aston.ac.uk/60th/
  20. ^ http://www1.aston.ac.uk/aston-business-school/programmes/aston-mba/rankings/
  21. ^ "Aston Business School". EducationGuardian.co.uk. StudyLink. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  22. ^ a b c d "History and Traditions". Aston University. 2008. Archived from the original on 19 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  23. ^ Foster, Andy (2007) [2005]. Birmingham. Pevsner Architectural Guides. Yale University Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-300-10731-9. 
  24. ^ Aston University Engineering Academy
  25. ^ "Uni. finder > West Midlands > Aston University". HERO. Archived from the original on 12 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  26. ^ Tarleton, Alice (2006-08-01). "Aston University". The Independent (London). Archived from the original on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  27. ^ "Eva London/Aston University Graduation Rings". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  28. ^ http://www.topuniversities.com/top-50-under-50
  29. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2013/14". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "Top European Universities 2013-14". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  31. ^ "University League Table 2014". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  32. ^ "University guide 2014: University league table". The Guardian. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  33. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2014". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  34. ^ http://www.topuniversities.com/universities/aston-university/undergrad
  35. ^ http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/news/releases/2009/may/aston-rated-among-top-15-uk-universities/
  36. ^ "Undergraduate study at Aston University". Aston.ac.uk. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  37. ^ a b c d ""Graduate Level" employment success". Aston.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 25 December 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  38. ^ http://www.economist.com/whichmba/aston-business-school/20It%7D
  39. ^ http://www1.aston.ac.uk/aston-business-school/research/
  40. ^ http://pg.studylink.co.uk/display/provider/provider-info.html?pid=pid-si-20-ast
  41. ^ http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/aston-business-school/masters-in-management-2012#masters-in-management-2012
  42. ^ http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/news/releases/2011/september/abs-4th-for-careers/
  43. ^ "European Business school rankings". Financial Times. The Financial Times Ltd. Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  44. ^ Hemley, Jo (2006-09-20). "Welcome and Introduction to Aston Business School" (PDF). Aston Business School. p. 3. Retrieved 2008-01-26. [dead link]
  45. ^ "Research Assessment Exercise". Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  46. ^ BBC News 8 May 2011 Aston University tower blocks demolished
  47. ^ "The construction process". Aston University. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-06-29. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  48. ^ "Campus redevelopment". Aston University. 2008. Archived from the original on 19 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  49. ^ Harriet Martineau and Mary Sturge Residences Aston University, retrieved 28 September 2013
  50. ^ Forbes http://people.forbes.com/profile/ravi-kant/76754
  51. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/21/birmingham-terror-cell-plotters-profiles
  52. ^ http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/news/releases/2013/march/aston-business-school-advisory-board/
  53. ^ http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/news/releases/2013/march/aston-business-school-advisory-board/

External links[edit]