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Ethics in Leadership and Governance

We are committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance, accountability and responsibility. We aim to adopt current best practice in governance, including the guidance to universities provided by the Committee of University Chairs in its Higher Education Code of Governance.

The University's Council, as governing body of the University, has corporate responsibility for the approval and development of the University Ethics Framework. Further information about our governance and financial regulations is available from our Governance website.

The Chief Financial Officer is the member of the Executive with responsibility for the oversight, co-ordination and monitoring of the University’s ethics framework. Responsibility for addressing specific ethical, social and environmental issues arising from the University's academic and commercial activities and institutional practice is discharged by key committees or officers, including:

  • research, consultancy and related activities by Senate, with recommendations from the Graduate School Management Committee and the University Ethics Committee;

  • learning, teaching, assessment and related activities by Senate, with recommendations from the Learning and Teaching Committee and the Regulation Sub-Committee;

  • fair admissions to taught programmes by the appropriate Admissions Forums reporting via Learning and Teaching Committee to Senate;

  • fair admissions to research programmes by the School Research Committees reporting through the Graduate School Management Committee and the Research Committee to Senate;

  • business ethics by the University Executive, and the Audit Committee/Finance and Major Projects Committee reporting to Council;

  • personal and professional relationships by the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development reporting to the Executive Operations Group;

  • ethical procurement in purchasing, ethical spending of public money and value for money policies by the Head of Purchasing Services reporting via the Chief Financial Officer to the Executive Operations Group and Audit Committee/Finance and Major Projects Committee reporting to Council;

  • ethical investment policy by the Chief Financial Officer reporting to Executive Operations Group and Audit Committee/Finance and Major Projects Committee reporting to Council;

  • environmental impacts of energy use by the Chief of Operations and Estates, reporting to the Executive Operations Group and the Finance and Major Projects Committee

  • environmental audit by the Chief of Operations and Estates reporting to the Executive Operations Group and to Council.

  • effective and honest communication of University policies, achievements and prospects to all our stake-holders by the University Executive Team.

  • collaboration with partners from the UK and overseas that share Aston’s ethical values and principles by the Senate on the basis of recommendations from the Collaborative Provision Strategy Group and the Learning and Teaching Committee.

  • Local School or departmental codes of ethics to articulate how the University Ethics Framework  and its related codes of practice are implemented within the School/department and to identify how ethical issues specific to its discipline-base are addressed, by the School Management Committees via School Teaching and Learning Committees, School Research Committees and School Research Ethics Committees.

  • Authority for managing the Students’ Union’s affairs is vested, through the Articles of Governance, in a Board of Trustees, which is advised by a Council of the Students’ Union. The Board of Trustees shall ensure that the Union operates ethically in line with the University’s regulations, policies and procedures.

All formal committees and Officers of the University, in discharging their routine business, will seek to raise awareness of ethical considerations and to disseminate best practice appropriate to their terms of reference/office.

Members of the University needing further information on ethics or governance matters, should contact the Director of Governance either by phone 0121 204 4869 or email j.g.walter@aston.ac.uk.