Aston University


Aston University

Infobox University
name = Aston University


image_size = 180px
established = 1895 (as Birmingham Municipal Technical School),
1966 Aston University
motto = "Forward"
type = Public
endowment = £1.9 millioncite web |url=http://www.aston.ac.uk/downloads/studentfinances/SOA-05-06.pdf |title=Financial Statements 2005-2006 |publisher=Aston University |accessdate=2007-04-26]
city = Birmingham
state = West Midlands
country = England
coor = coord|52.4860|N|1.8895|W|display=title,inline|type:edu
campus = 40 acres, city centre, self contained, grass, trees and paving, pedestrianised, small lake and other water features
staff = 1,000+
chancellor = Sir Michael Bett, CBE
vice_chancellor = Professor Julia King, CBE, FREng
students = 9,555cite web|url= http://www.hesa.ac.uk/dox/dataTables/studentsAndQualifiers/download/institution0607.xls|title= Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07|accessdate= 2008-04-03|format= Microsoft Excel spreadsheet|publisher= Higher Education Statistics Agency]
undergrad = 7,030
postgrad = 2,530
doctoral =
affiliations = Alliance of Non-Aligned Universities Association of Commonwealth Universities
website = http://www.aston.ac.uk/

Aston University is a "plate glass" campus university situated on a 40-acre (0.16km²) campus at Gosta Green, in the city centre of Birmingham, England.cite web| url = http://education.independent.co.uk/higher/az_uni_colleges/article1208485.ece| title = Aston University| accessdate = 2007-03-24| last = Tarleton| first = Alice|date=2006-08-01| work = A-Z Unis & Colleges| publisher = The Independent]

Established in 1895 as the "Birmingham Municipal Technical School",cite web| url = http://www.hero.ac.uk/uk/universities___colleges/west_midlands/aston_university.cfm| title = Uni. finder > West Midlands > Aston University| accessdate = 2007-03-24| publisher = HERO] Aston achieved university status on 22 April 1966. Following from its background in Technology, Business, Sciences, Engineering and applied subjects, Aston continues to have a focus on industry and commerce. The University also has a thriving School of Languages and Social Sciences. A majority of students are registered on courses leading to a BSc [cite web| url=http://www.aston.ac.uk/prospective-students/ug/pros/astonlife/14degrees.jsp| title=Our Degree Programmes| accessdate=2007-03-24] and 70 per cent of eligible undergraduate students at Aston are enrolled on four-year "sandwich" courses, spending a year abroad or on industry placements. [cite web| url=http://www.aston.ac.uk/prospective-students/ug/| title=Undergraduate Study at Aston University| accessdate=2007-03-24] The university emphasises its focus on industry placements and graduate employment record: [cite web| url=http://www.aston.ac.uk/about/| title=About Aston University| accessdate=2007-03-24] in 2006-7, 81.4 per cent of first degree graduates found "graduate level" employment within six months of graduation, compared to the UK national average of less than 65 per cent. [source Sunday Times University Guide 23/9/07]

Aston is a relatively small university in terms of student numbers, serving just over 7,000 full-time undergraduates, compared with the 18,840 of its near neighbour institution, the University of Birmingham. Aston also has 2,530 postgraduate students (1,315 full time) on MSc, PhD, PGDip and MBA programmes. Aston's smaller size in part contributes its reputation as a friendly University with a lively programme of student activities. Aston Business School (part of the University) celebrated its 60 year anniversary in 2007, one of the most established in the UK. [ [Independent Newspaper [http://www.independent.co.uk/student/postgraduate/business-schools/aston-business-school-771974.html] ] ]

History

Founded in 1895 as "The Birmingham Municipal Technical School", it officially became the "University of Aston in Birmingham" on receipt of its Royal Charter on 22 April 1966. Sir Michael Bett took over the position of Chancellor on October 21, 2004 from Sir Adrian Cadbury, whose younger brother Sir Dominic Cadbury is Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. Part of Birmingham City University's Institute of Art and Design is also located on the edge of the Aston University campus - called its Gosta Green site.

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.

Branding

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

Rebranding

In 2007, the University, under new Vice-Chancellor Julia King undertook a rebranding initiative with the aim of properly reflecting its status as a modern, dynamic institution.

University league tables

* Aston University is ranked 15th out of 113 higher education institutions in The Times 2008 "Good University Guide". [ [http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/gug/gooduniversityguide.php Good University Guide] , The Times, 2008] These league tables also ranked Aston as 9th in the UK for employability of its graduates with 76% entering “graduate level” employment or further study within 6 months of graduation, against a UK average of less than 65%. This makes Aston University the highest-ranking university outside the South of England/London on this factor. Aston was also ranked 17th for staff-student ratios, 33rd for proportion of First and Upper second class degrees, and 6th for services and facilities spend.
* Aston University was also rated No 1 for Student Life, and one of the UK's Friendliest Universities as voted by FHM & Virgin student. [http://www.aston.ac.uk/prospective-students/ug/pros/astonlife/04studentintro.jsp]
* In the Guardian Guide, Aston University was ranked 18th overall out of 122 Universities and Colleges. Aston has featured in the top 20 of the Guardian online University Guide for 4 out of the last 5 years. The Guardian tables focus on variables such as teaching quality, spending on student facilities, entry grades, staff-student ratios and graduate success/job prospects.
* In the 2007 National Student Survey Aston had an overall satisfaction rating of 87%, (UK average 81%) placing it in the top 20 of UK "full scale" Universities. [BBC September 2007 [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6988910.stm] ]
* In the 2008 Performance Indicators (produced by HEFCE, a UK Government Department) Aston University's drop-out rate was one of the lowest in the UK at 4.0%, again in the top 20 of UK "full-scale" Universities [quoted in the Guardian, June 2008 [http://education.guardian.co.uk/universityaccess/table/0,,2283706,00.html] ]

http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/gug/gooduniversityguide.php?AC_sub=Business+Studies&x=10&y=13&sub=3

Aston has also been ranked 12th out of 113 Universities in the new "Complete University Guide 2008", sponsored by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and now featured in the Independent - www.thegooduniversityguide.org.uk This ranking is produced by the same people and uses the same methodology as previous Times Good University rankings.

Chancellors of the University

# The Lord Nelson of Stafford (May 1966 – September 1979)
# Sir Adrian Cadbury (September 1979 – September 2004)
# Sir Michael Bett (September 2004 – present day)

tudents' Guild (Union)

Aston Students Guild is a non-profit organisation set up with the aim of involving and representing the student body of Aston. The Guild provides sports clubs, societies and Welfare Services, partially funded by the money accrued from the Guild's commercial services. The Guild 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.

On 29 November, 2006, the students voted to disaffiliate the Guild from the National Union of Students. The Yes campaign won 53%-47%, with a turnout of only 15% of the student body.

Accommodation

Aston University has both standard and en-suite accommodation on campus - 2,117 rooms in total. All campus accommodation is less than 5 minutes' walk from the main building, and approximately 10 minutes' walk from Birmingham city centre.

The university recently published details of its plans to renovate all the student accommodation on campus, starting in 2008 and finishing in 2014. The project will see the 3 1970's tower blocks - Dalton, Lawrence and Stafford - and the 1970s low-rise accommodation replaced to make way for three new accommodation blocks, from 2014 the University will have over 3000 rooms on campus. 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.

By 2010 entry (the end of phase 1) the campus will have 2,000 ensuite rooms (1350 of which are new) plus c400 existing rooms with shared bathrooms. The first year accommodation guarantee will remain during the construction peroid. The phase 1 plan for 2010 also includes the creation of a large new artificial sports pitch with a 250-place car park underneath. A new sports pitch has also been created on campus in 2008 to cover the interim period until 2010.

See the following link for more information on the campus development: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/campus-redevelopment/

Alumni

*Jasper Carrot, comedian
*Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP Group
*Paul Drayson, Baron Drayson|Lord Drayson, vaccine manufacturer and Government minister
*John Lodge, musician
*Terry Pitt, political adviser and Member of the European Parliament
*Adam Ryland, computer games programmer
*Kevin Warwick, professor of cybernetics
*David Willey, professor of physics
*Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, current Chief Minister of the state of Perak
*Frankie Boyle, comedian

References

External links

* [http://www.aston.ac.uk Aston University]
* [http://www.astonguild.org.uk Aston Guild of Students]


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