We are dedicated to achieving success across various impact areas that directly tackle both local and national critical challenges. These challenges encompass critical issues such as technological advancements, shifting geopolitics, inequality and inequity, and climate change. We aim to make a unique and transformative contribution to tackle these critical issues which have informed our outward facing activities:

timeline showing technological advance

Technological advances

  • We will make a direct and significant contribution to innovation-led growth and ensuring we have the skills and knowledge to drive growth in emerging sectors. We acknowledge the rapid advancements in technology and their transformative effects on industries, economies and future ways of working.
  • Our university strives to stay at the forefront of technological innovation; we want to ensure that our students are equipped with advanced skills and knowledge to meet the evolving needs of society and we want to actively engage in the transformation of sectors and industries.
  • To foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism within our university, we incentivise engagement and collaboration with local businesses, recognising the importance of working with industry partners to be responsive to industry needs and drive innovation forward.
  • Furthermore, we embed enterprise skills in our core curriculum and provide support to student start-ups and university’s spin-outs, enabling them to thrive and contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Accelerating the impact of our research is another important focus. We provide comprehensive support to researchers and academics, guiding them from ideation to commercialisation. We actively connect them to the regional innovation ecosystem, facilitating the translation and commercialisation of their research findings. This ensures that our expertise reaches beyond academic circles and generates tangible benefits for society.
students working in a lab

Inequality and inequity

  • We will proactively support the UK’s Levelling Up agenda, driving positive outcomes for all. We recognise the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive environment within our institution.
  • We recognise our civic role and that our expertise can play a crucial role in addressing societal issues that, if left unchecked, will have far-reaching consequences. To tackle these challenges effectively, we embrace an interdisciplinary approach, ensuring that diverse perspectives and knowledge are leveraged to develop comprehensive solutions.
  • We collaborate with local schools and colleges, foster partnerships with local charities such as the Aston Villa Foundation, and anchor institutions, such as the NHS and engage with local SMEs. Through these partnerships and by participating in the foundation economy, we aim to create more pathways for individuals to enter the healthcare workforce and vital services which are essential to people’s well-being.
  • We want our campus to be accessible to all and support our students including those from deprived areas and minority groups, by providing access to good job opportunities and fostering their personal and professional development, making a positive impact on their lives.
  • We also want to ensure lifelong learning opportunities, and a flexible educational offer that is responsive to evolving skills needs, including short courses that cater to specific skillsets and high-level skills development. However, we remain mindful of affordability concerns and are committed to providing accessible education, ensuring that cost is not a barrier for individuals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge
Globe shoting interconnectedness

Shifting geopolitics

  • We will put ourselves at the heart of decision-making, using our knowledge and expertise to ensure a good deal for our institution and community. As a key anchor institution, we have an important role to play in attracting investment and using our expertise and soft power to raise the profile of our region.
  • We understand the challenges that come with the current political environment and the government funding landscape. We recognise the importance of influencing policies in ensuring that higher education receives adequate government funding. By actively engaging with policymakers, we work towards creating an environment where higher education is valued and supported.
  • We advocate for making the sector more resilient to changes in government priorities and funding decisions. To ensure the financial sustainability of our university, we pursue strategies that balance affordability and revenue generation. We strive to keep tuition fees at an affordable level for students, ensuring that higher education remains accessible.
  • Simultaneously, we explore avenues to diversify our income streams, by actively building our reputation profile, attracting foreign investment in research and development, and seeking innovation funding opportunities. Collaboration and partnership work is also vital to address shifting geopolitics. We actively engage in partnerships with other universities to tackle complex challenges, drive innovation, and enhance our research capabilities.

Forest fire due to climate change

Climate change

  • We will apply our expertise and influence to tackle the major societal issues which will support sustainable growth. We recognise the crucial role we play in the local and national business ecosystem in supporting businesses in adopting sustainable practices and business models to achieve net-zero emissions.
  • One notable initiative is the Green Advantage Project, where we provide guidance and resources to businesses, helping them gain a competitive edge through sustainability. We undertake world-leading research throughout Aston Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute and have secured significant funding for research in sustainable energy systems.
  • We want to ensure that our students are well-equipped to address climate change and embed carbon literacy within our courses, integrating sustainability principles and climate-related topics into the curricula.
  • Collaboration with other universities is also important to harness the collective expertise and resources of multiple institutions to drive forward energy research and innovation key aspect. We run initiatives like the Energy Research Accelerator in partnership with Midlands universities, which aims at facilitating the development and implementation of sustainable energy solutions at a regional level.