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Aston 12th in new UK university guide

1 August 2007 – for immediate release

Aston University in Birmingham has come 12th in a new UK Universities guide published today.

The interactive Guide has been compiled by Bernard Kingston and Mayfield University Consultants (who previously compiled the highly respected Times Good University Guide) and is sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In the overall institutional rankings table, Aston is placed 12th out of 113 higher education institutions, placing it ahead of universities such as Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Edinburgh. Universities are ranked by assessing their performance in each of nine quality factors from entry standards to graduate prospects.

The new rankings can be found at:www.thegooduniversityguide.org.uk

This latest good news for Aston comes just a week after it was announced that the University has a higher percentage of state school pupils than any other Top 20 UK university, according to a new report.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) figures show that 89% of students starting full-time first degree courses at Aston in 2005-6 came from state school backgrounds. Furthermore, it means that Aston has surpassed its 86.8% benchmark for intake of state school pupils – a target which is set each year by HEFCE. To put this achievement into context, only three other top 20-ranked institutions in the Times Good University Guide 2007 had state school participation rates of over 80% and only two of those – Leicester and Cardiff – exceeded their benchmarks.

The same report also revealed that Aston had a lower dropout rate than its benchmark. Only 5.6% of Aston’s students chose not to continue their degree course after their first year, against a target of 6.1%, indicating that Aston is successfully retaining, as well as recruiting, students.

Stewart Comfort, Director of Marketing at Aston University, said: ‘Today's rankings again confirm Aston's position as a top UK university. We are particularly proud of this placing as it builds on our position of 13th overall in The Times rankings last year and the recent government statistics on our low drop-out rates and other strong performance indicators.

‘Aston scored particularly well this year in the rankings on criteria such as graduate employment, spending on facilities, student support and staff-student ratios. These factors are extremely important to our students and have a positive impact on their experience with us as well as their futures as successful graduates.’

ENDS

For further press information please contact Sally Hoban on 0121 204 4552.

For further information about the University visit www.aston.ac.uk

Notes to editors: Aston has also performed well in the Guide’s individual subject tables, for example:

Other Subjects Allied to Medicine 5th

Business Studies 7th

Pharmacology and Pharmacy 10th

Mechanical Engineering 14th

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research