This strategic theme is about placemaking, by focusing on creating new innovative places for our people and beneficiaries and transforming our city and campus beyond the current Aston Triangle. Our primary aim is to improve the lived experience within our university and strengthen the connections between people and our places. This is an approach centred on people and their needs, aspirations, desires, and visions, which relies strongly on community engagement.

Our 2030 strategy is therefore blurring the boundaries between campus and city, between our university community and diverse city communities, business and academia, work and life, by creating places that drive and enable innovation, co-creation and collaboration as never before. 

Urban University

By embedding our core activities and infrastructure within the heart of the city to drive the regeneration of the city and engagement with the community. This includes establishing in the city centre the “front door” to Aston University, our Business Hub and Enterprise Hub, Alumni Club (as a ‘home away from home’ for Aston University alumni) and embedding Aston Business School within the city business and financial district at the intersection of main transport links (including HS2 and New Street Station). An urban university integrated within the city centre, supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Member of Aston's Catering Team



Birmingham Innovation Quarter (B-IQ)

Located here at Aston University, and co-created with our partners Bruntwood SciTech, Birmingham City Council and others, as an innovation ecosystem of global significance to drive innovation at scale and pace, to attract enterprising talent, and create enterprising graduates. This will be a place where digital tech and health tech, the brightest talent, most exciting businesses and cultural institutions come together to foster a game-changing innovation environment. A place where our staff and students work alongside leading innovators and businesses to develop new skills and realise new value

Aston Health Services Hub

Embedded within the new consolidated health innovation campus within the B-IQ. As part of our commitment to enable our students to be ready for work and life and to our staff and wider community, the Aston Health Services Hub will offer comprehensive integrated health and wellbeing services. We know our community, including our student population, face disproportionate health inequality. We are also addressing known national challenges around student mental health and wellbeing. The Aston Health Services Hub will provide unique personalised preventative health and wellbeing support, personalised information to enable informed life choices for healthy living and ageing, and our students and community will benefit from the latest thinking and technology in digital healthcare driven by world-leading research into global health challenges within this unique ecosystem.

These strategic developments, innovations and co-investments will establish a new university model that is inclusive, entrepreneurial and transformational, demonstrating in action how universities can act as a catalyst for their people and place, and communities they serve.

Our people are an integral and essential part of the 2030 strategy.

We aim to be the best place to work by:

  • Strengthening our employer value proposition and employer branding to champion the university as an agile and innovative learning organisation.
  • Attracting and retaining the best talent who are aligned with our purpose, values and strategy.
  • Being receptive and proactively using staff and beneficiaries’ feedback to inform and improve what we do.
  • Further increasing the focus on staff wellbeing and provide modern and purpose-built working environments and equipment.
  • Instilling competitive and innovative staff benefits and rewards, and providing career progression opportunities.
  • Removing any systemic gaps which might be a barrier to equity and embracing the global racial and ethnic equity framework.

We will nurture an inclusive, collaborative, and supportive environment by:

  • Embedding a principle-based approach to equity, diversity and inclusion across all we do.
  • Reinforcing our values and behaviours and promoting an environment where everyone can flourish and achieve their potential.
  • Embedding leadership and management principles that nurture an inclusive environment based on trust, respect and empowerment.
  • Setting out transparent principles to guide what we expect of all our staff.
  • Embedding our inclusion principles in all we do.
  • Providing support for mental health and well being

We will develop and empower our people to realise their ambition and full potential by:

  • Providing enhanced academic and professional services career progression and pathways, supported by structured personal development including leadership and management (projects, people, change and technology).
  • Enabling all staff to advance their core skills, especially digital skills and data literacy, innovation and entrepreneurship skills.
  • Establishing a Talent Academy to facilitate staff development and mentoring, and provide access to new work experiences and opportunities across the university.

We will create a culture of continuous improvement that rewards innovation and excellence by:

  • Adopting a new contemporary approach to performance management that includes a digital platform and personalised support.
  • Providing industry or business experience opportunities, and support for innovation capacity development within our new Enterprise Hub.
Biomedical Scientists


Students outside Aston Business School

Enabling strategies

  • People strategy
  • Estates strategy
  • College strategies
  • Digital Enterprise strategy


  • Staff engagement   
  • Best Companies to Work For certification
  • International academic staff ratio (QS World  University Ranking)
  • Industry staff ratio (Innovation Fellows, Industry Fellows, Professors of Practice)
  • Diversity in leadership and governance roles
  • Number of staff completing entrepreneurial bootcamps
  • Number of staff undertaking leadership and management development
  • Community engaged on campus on  university business  
  • Companies incubated / embedded on campus / in Hubs
  • Greenhouse Gas emissions (Aston University estate)
Lecture in progress


Our people at all levels and from all backgrounds will be supported to reach their potential and progress in their careers at Aston University.

Our leadership teams will better reflect the diversity of our place, and our campus and nodes will serve as catalysts for collaboration and inclusive growth involving our beneficiaries and the communities we serve.

Just as we prepare our students for the changing world of work, our people will be enabled to embrace and lead innovation for our own organisation for their own benefit. Through our creation of the Birmingham Innovation Quarter (B-IQ) and our Enterprise Hub, orienting our services and expertise outwardly, we will attract innovators and entrepreneurs to the city and support more partners from diverse backgrounds to maximise their potential.

Aston University will be the most engaged university in the region, an influential catalyst, building a transformational ecosystem within our place, providing physical and digital resources for alumni, businesses and the community