2020 strategy

With its focus on the application of knowledge for economic & social benefit, Aston University has a distinct mission that sets it apart


Going Forward to 2020, Aston will maintain its responsiveness to the needs of a changing  world whilst remaining true to the distinctive, original purpose.

Our focus brings real benefits - delivering social mobility by helping students acquire the skills, confidence and knowledge they need to make a successful career in business, industry and the professions, enabling them to explore and fulfil individual potential.

Our scholarship is focused on translating world-class research into benefits for the economy and society, and for the local and global communities to which we belong. 

At Aston we are dedicated to developing the people and the ideas that will shape the businesses and communities of tomorrow.

Our mission and vision

Our 2020 strategy (PDF) explains how Aston University proposes to be even more distinctive within a crowded, and increasingly competitive, environment.

Our mission is to be the UK’s leading University for business, enterprise and the professions, where original research has a positive impact on the world around us.

Our vision is that in 2020 Aston will be a top research led international University renowned for developing future leaders of business and the professions.

Our eight strategic aims

The Aston 2020 strategy is divided into eight strategic aims.

Aston will continue to recruit students with high entry grades to our degree programmes. Students from all backgrounds will  benefit from our ability to engage and challenge, and to develop learning experiences based on the needs of students, delivered
through a variety of different modes and channels. We remain committed to widening participation and success.

Research is at the forefront of Aston’s mission, underpinning everything that we do. We will build on our reputation for world leading translational research and scholarship focussed around key areas of strength and channelled through our cross
disciplinary research centres.

The aim of Partnerships and Business Engagement at Aston is to develop strong, financially-sound relationships with business, professional and public sector organisations and to respond effectively to their needs. The range and quality of these relationships enable Aston to carry out world-leading research with global organisations to enhance their performance.

Aston has a strong track record in delivering international collaborations such as the European Bio Energy Research Centre, also linking with India, and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

Aston is committed to being a leading International University ranked within the Top 250 in the world by 2020. To do this we must be at the leading edge of changes in the global higher education sector, including emerging patterns of demand and the increasing quality of institutions outside Europe and North America.

We must promote our reputation and visibility internationally through our alumni, through agents and ministries, through our research and through improving the scope and reach of partnerships such as that with IIT Delhi and IIT Ropar in India.

The dedication, talent and drive of Aston’s people underpin Aston’s current and future success. We are, and will remain, friendly, informal and open; a multi-culturally diverse
community in which staff and students continue to learn from, and celebrate, individual differences. These qualities make Aston a great place to work, study and collaborate.

Our Finance and Infrastructure are crucial to the stability and efficiency of the University. The Finance mission is to deliver a predictable, stable financial platform that will support
the University strategy. The specific objective is to achieve an annual surplus of 3–5% on turnover, which will generate the cash flow to support investment into the academic and
physical infrastructure of the University, and to improve the student experience.

Sustainability and social responsibility are issues our staff, students and stakeholders feel passionately about, and are central to how we work at Aston, and how we relate to the world around us. Sustainability and social responsibility are based on ethical values and underpinned by the idea of economic, social and environmental obligations to our range of stakeholders.

Our Reputation and Influence are critical. They stem from our distinctiveness, our  positioning as a brand, and our rankings in league tables. They are influenced by what our students, alumni and partners say about Aston. They enable us to create awareness for our two ‘core aims’ of Aston Graduates and Aston Research. They ensure that the quality
of our degrees and of our Research is communicated clearly, and enable us to play a role in shaping Higher Education for the future.