What Makes Aston the ‘University of the Year’?

What Makes Aston the ‘University of the Year’?

When The Guardian named Aston University for its top honour as ‘University of the Year 2020,’ the global publication cited three key attributes. According to The Guardian’s announcement, ‘The university shone out for its commitment to social mobility, diversity and sustainability.’

Consideration for the prestigious ‘University of the Year’ designation is not initiated by self-nomination or third-party recommendations. Rather, the selection process is based on an objective review that weighs data inputs of various institutional achievements.

For prospective students, this award gives insight into vital qualities of the university.

A Commitment to Social Values

Professor Alec Cameron, Aston Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, credits the new accolade to the efforts and achievements of staff and students — both current and past. In a video announcing the award, he says the values and attributes measured by the selection criteria ‘have been central to Aston and our purpose for a long time.’ Diversity and sustainability are two prime examples.

Closing the Attainment Gap

Diversity is an intrinsic part of life at Aston. The university enrolls the largest proportion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students in the UK. In 2018/19, 59% of students achieving a 1st or 2:1 were from these varied cultural backgrounds. The University also joined the Race Equality Charter in November 2019.

Gender equality is an important aspect of the diversity value as well, demonstrated by Aston’s achievement of the Silver Athena SWAN award in 2018. This award encourages and recognises commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

Embedding Sustainability

Another notable value is Aston’s commitment to the environment. As one of the greenest universities in the UK, the university ranks in the top 10 of the People and Planet University Green League. This recognition considers aspects such as institutional policy and strategy, auditing and management systems and staff and student engagement.

Distinctive Characteristics of the Aston Community

Known for outstanding responsiveness to student needs, Aston is ranked 11th in the UK for Continuation by the 2021 Guardian University Guide. This measurement of student support services recognises Aston’s options for counselling, peer mentoring, maths tutorials and study skills workshops.

The notable strengths of Aston’s programmes are demonstrated by the outcomes achieved by alumni. The 2020 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) ranked Aston graduates as having the 15th largest median earnings in the UK five years after graduation.

The timing of the University of the Year accolade underscores the quality of the Aston community. During a year with unprecedented challenges brought on by the global pandemic, Aston staff and students have persevered. ‘The resilience and flexibility of everyone in our community during this difficult time has been outstanding,’ Cameron says.

Where Will Aston Take You?

Through online business programmes, Aston University makes world-class graduate education accessible to students around the globe. 

By choosing a premier global business school, you engage firsthand in the dynamics of today’s increasingly interconnected marketplace. You’ll broaden your perspective and insights for diverse markets, and you’ll be part of a community committed to your success.

Aston student Woody Chiu says, ‘Having close links with business means that academics can offer practical advice, that’s really valuable to me.’

Designed with flexibility and convenience for business professionals, Aston programmes offer:

  • 100% online coursework, so you can study from the comfort and safety of your home

  • Content that can be completed from anywhere in the world

  • An international network of peers

  • Prestige of a triple-accredited school among the elite 1% of business schools globally

Discover your place in the Aston University community. Explore online business programmes today.