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Comment from Professor Michael West, Executive Dean

18/12/2008

After 7 years, 990 academic journal papers, 128 books, 296 book chapters, 488 PhD students and £8million of research funding, the RAE results for Aston Business School have arrived.

The headline is that the RAE panel adjudged that 60% of Aston’s submission was internationally excellent or world class. We can be immensely proud of this extraordinary achievement. Using the classification system of the previous RAE, Aston would be classified as a 5A*. More importantly, our research profile puts us at number 7 in England and number 9 in the UK (out of 118 business schools in the UK). That represents a rise from number 9 in England and number 10 in the UK. Climbing up when you are already in the top 10 is hugely difficult. And we have achieved that despite a large rise in research standards across business schools in the UK.

Our achievement also means we have outstripped Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College Business Schools. We are thus competing with and outperforming institutions that have huge advantages in terms of wealth and long-standing international reputation and we therefore have reason to be immensely proud. Taking into account of the number of staff submitted to the RAE for business schools as a percentage of total academic staff listed on web sites, Aston Business School emerges with a better research assessment score than London Business School .

The profiles of the top 20 business schools also reveal that Aston Business School was one of the very top In terms of the percentage of its academic staff submitted in the RAE exercise. We submitted 95% of our staff, reflecting how inclusive we are as an institution and also that we have research strength in depth. We are truly a research led institution in comparison with many of our competitors who submitted just those who were their most outstanding researchers. Moreover, 28% of our submitted staff were classed as early career researchers. Again, we included all those staff who were at the start of their research careers, rather than classing them as non submissions as some business schools did. That is because, in keeping with Aston University’s ethos, we were committed to taking an inclusive approach and encouraging all of our researchers to contribute to the work of Aston Business School.

This is an outstanding performance reflecting the dedication to advancing knowledge through research of all our staff, the excellence of our faculty and the support of our research administrators, research assistants and all support staff.

It is a proud day for Aston Business School and I cannot tell you just how proud and privileged I feel to be part of this School. Huge thanks to you all – to everyone in the School, because everyone has contributed to this brilliant result. You now deserve a wonderful break with your family and friends over the coming holiday period. And I wish you just that.

Thank you for all you have done these last seven years in enabling Aston Business School to achieve this outstanding result.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research