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Latest office gossip:best business school just got better

29 October 2002

Latest office gossip:
best business school just got better

SIR MICHAEL BETT, CBE, is in the Midlands today [Friday 1 November] to open a prestigious new office suite in one of the region's universities.

The BBC's former personnel director visited Aston University, where he is Pro-Chancellor, to unveil its business school's new, state-of-the art undergraduate administrative unit.�

The office space, which cost almost �1/2 million to complete, is the hub of the largest undergraduate business programme of any of the top business schools in the UK, with 2,500 first degree students. ABS also has the country's largest industrial placement programme, finding jobs for 450 students each year with the best companies in the UK and continental Europe.

Taking up a whole wing of the university's main building, the new suite houses 20 administrative staff and is also the focal point for 100 of the school's academics who teach on the undergraduate programme.�

This is the latest demonstration of Aston Business School's (ABS) ambitious plans to compete with the world's best. Last December ABS received a top rated 5 in the national Research Assessment Exercise, and in June 2002 The Times Good University Guide's survey of 92 UK universities ranked it second behind the specialist London School of Economics (www.times-archive.co.uk/onlinespecials/education/business.html).�

To meet the demand for its courses ABS will continue to grow both physically and in terms of staffing. In the next five years the number of its full time academic staff will rise to over 120 and its turnover will increase from �15 million to around �25m.

ABS also plans to build a huge extension to its HQ at a cost of around �20m. This will be funded by the growth in income from an increase in programme provision.

David Johnson, director of ABS undergraduate programmes, said: 'Our new office suite sets the seal on the most successful period in Aston Business School's history, with a series of top ratings for teaching and research, and a string of accreditations from prestigious bodies such as EQUIS.�
'The new offices will enable us to provide an even higher level of service to our many visitors from industry and commerce, as well as our staff and students, and it is very fitting that they have now been officially opened by Sir Michael Bett with his strong connections to the worlds of both academe and industry.'

Ends

For further information please call 0121 204 4549 or email: b.a.l.coombes@aston.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Photo opportunity:
Friday 1 November, 6.30pm, Aston Business School undergraduate offices, 6th floor, main building, Aston University.

Sir Michael Bett CBE is Chairman of Pace Micro Technology plc and of Compel Group plc. Pro-Chancellor of Aston University, he is also Chairman of the Pensions Protection Investments Accreditation Board, One World Broadcasting Trust, and the White Ensign Association naval charity. He has had a long and distinguished career in both the public and private sectors, including positions as Deputy Chairman of BT and Personnel Director of both the BBC and GEC Group.

He was also the First Commissioner for the Civil Service (1995-2000), the President of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (1992-98) and the Chairman of the Armed Forces Independent Review on Manpower (1994-95).

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