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University Ethics Framework - Foreword from the Vice-Chancellor

Dear Aston Colleagues,

Aston aspires to be ranked within the top 1% of universities in the world.  Our mission is to be the UK’s leading University for business and the professions, where original research, enterprise and inspiring teaching deliver global impact.  Our success depends on our people – the Aston community.  It depends on staff who are prepared to be highly innovative and dynamic in meeting the needs of our students and stakeholders.  The dedication, talent and drive of Aston’s people underpin our future. The global environment within which we operate is characterised by increasing change, ambiguity and uncertainty, and the ways in which we operate have become more complex and regularly present new regulatory, ethical, and legal challenges. It is therefore essential that we confirm our ethical vision and state clearly our principles, values and responsibilities. We aspire to lead the HE sector in terms of our approach to ethical business practice. 

This Ethics Framework reflects our collective commitment to high ethical standards and regulatory compliance, and sets out the broad range of regulations, policies and practices which govern our relationships with colleagues, customers, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders. It sets out the ethical standards we expect of all members of the University in everything they do and wherever they operate. The Framework is supported by the more detailed policies referred to in this document and, where appropriate, policies determined locally and tailored to the individual requirements of each School or department.

We all face ethical dilemmas during our daily work: how we behave towards colleagues and respond to their behaviour; how we deal with difficult or awkward requests from stakeholders or suppliers; whether our research has unintended consequences for the well-being of volunteers, etc. This Framework provides useful, practical guidance on these and many other common dilemmas which we all face from time to time. The Framework provides information to help all members of the Aston community to make good, informed business decisions and to act on them with integrity. It also provides advice on who to approach for advice when they are facing ethical dilemmas. Wherever there is doubt, the golden rule is to discuss the matter openly.

As a member of the Aston community, it is your responsibility to understand and comply with the Ethics Framework.  You also have a responsibility to raise compliance and ethics concerns through the established channels.  This is the way to ensure that Aston University is and continues to be a great place to work and study. 

Professor Dame Julia King,
Vice-Chancellor