Aston University | Wikipedia audio article

Aston University | Wikipedia audio article

October 12, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


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 by 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. Aston pioneered the integrated placement year
concept over 50 years ago, and more than 70% of Aston students take a placement year, the
highest percentage in the UK.==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. 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.===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. 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.===2000 to present===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.==Campus==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.===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:===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.===Academic dress===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=====
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’. 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.===Rankings===
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.===Aston Business School===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 23rd 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.==Student life=====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.===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. 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.==Notable people=====
List of Chancellors===Lord Nelson of Stafford (May 1966 – September
1979) Sir Adrian Cadbury (September 1979 – September
2004) Michael Bett (September 2004 – May 2011)
John Sunderland (Since May 2011)===List of Vice-Chancellors===
Peter Venables (April 1966 – July 1969) Sir Joseph Pope (August 1969 – September 1979)
Frederick W. Crawford (July 1980 – August 1996)
Michael T. Wright (September 1996 – November 2006)
Dame Julia King (November 2006 – September 2016)
Alec Cameron (September 2016 – Present)===Lectures===
Prof. Geoffrey Vernon Ball – The first full-time lecturing professor of ophthalmics, (1948-1981)===Alumni===Chris Banks, British businessman
Keith Bradley, Baron Bradley, Labour Party politician and life peer
Rob Brighouse, Managing Director Chiltern Railways
Frankie Boyle, Stand-up, Television Rūta Bunkutė, IFBB/NPC Amateur fitness and
figure competitor from Lithuania Anthony Cheung, Secretary for Transport and
Housing in Hong Kong Stewart Clegg, Australian sociologist
Paul Drayson, Baron Drayson, vaccine manufacturer and Minister of State for Science, Drayson
Racing Driver Simon D’Ujanga, State Minister for Energy
in Uganda Veronica German, Scientist, Member of the
National Assembly for Wales Malcolm Harbour, British politician
Tony Hayward, Former chief executive of BP Group
Abdollah Jassbi, President of Azad University Laura Jones, BBC Journalist
Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, Former Chief Minister of the state of Perak
Ravi Kant, Vice Chairman of TATA Motors, India Ashok Kumar, Labour Party politician
Rachel Maclean, Conservative Party politician Kevin Morley, Former Managing Director of
the former Rover Group Ivan Noble, BBC journalist
Rob Perrins, Managing Director of Berkeley Group Holdings
Terry Pitt, Political adviser and former Member of the European Parliament
Phil Popham, Global Operations Director for the global Jaguar Land Rover business
Rahul Potluri, Founder of ACALM, Doctor, Researcher, Scientist
John Rickard, Former Chief Economic Advisor to the British Government
Nic Robertson, Senior International Correspondent at CNN
Jeff Rooker, Baron Rooker, Labour Peer Adam Ryland, British programmer
Claire Curtis-Thomas, British Labour Party politician and former MP
Gregor Townsend MBE, Scottish and British Lions Rugby Union Player
Kate Walsh, Television presenter Robert Walter, Conservative MP
Kevin Warwick, Professor of cybernetics and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Coventry
University Steve Wharton, British academic
Mike Wright, Executive Director Jaguar Land Rover
Salma Yaqoob, Leader, and former vice-chairman, of Respect – The Unity Coalition
Yudhisthir Sharma, Business Leader and Enterpreneur, Ex Chief Executive Officer, YHAI affiliated
with Hostelling International, headquartered in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, United
Kingdom