As a Civic University, our commitment focuses on maximising the value we generate for the region by utilising our expertise and power as an anchor institution whilst filtering effort and concentrating on specific objectives so that can achieve impact with our available resources.

It is our mission to work with local citizens and regional bodies to make a transformational difference on issues that matter to them.

Aston University signs Civic University Agreement, watch the video below:

View our Civic University Agreement and Network below:

Key themes that we focus on:


Our mission:

To work with local citizens and regional bodies to make a transformation difference on issues that matter to them - marrying our world-leading research with the needs of local communities to co-produce effective solutions.

Key principles:

  • Citizens at the centre

  • Use our convening power to bring partners together for the benefit of the city

  • Amplify impact through collaboration

Civic Agreement Launch

Aston University celebrated the official launch of its civic agreement with strategic partners from the city and region at an event hosted by Aston Villa Football Club on Wednesday 8 June.

Aston University’s agreement sets out its commitment to wide-ranging collaborations on a range of themes centred around the recovery of the city and its citizens after COVID-19 through initiatives on improving health and wellbeing, reducing inequalities, support for businesses, environment and sustainability, crime and justice, and education and employment.


This year we climbed 309 places in the QS World University Rankings: Sustainability, from 640 overall in 2023, to 331 in 2024. Each university's environmental impact, social impact and governance was assessed and ranked separately, before being combined to give an overall rank.

As well as making the top 25% of universities overall globally, Aston University ranked 131 for equality, and at 172 for health and wellbeing, part of the social impact metric.

In 2020, we were named the Guardian University of the year, with judges noting that sustainability has been embedded into the Aston Culture. In the same year, we won the Guardian's 'Buildings that Inspire' category, which celebrates our newly build student-centred students' union building. Both staff and students were involved throughout the project, resulting in the new building reflecting the needs of a bigger, more diverse and modern student body that genuinely cared about sustainability and inclusivity. Made of sustainable wood, the building incorporates a low-carbon heating system drawing energy from more than 100 solar panels.

How we've embedded sustainability

Sustainability is key for the university and we are focussing particularly on delivering 1. Sustainable Campus; 2. Sustainable Communities; 3. Sustainable Development in Academic Activities’

Go Green Champions are a group of volunteers that help to advance our Sustainability Strategy objectives within our campus and community.

Public Engagement

We're proud to say that we are signatories to the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement's (NCCPE) Manifesto for Public Engagement.

Each of our Colleges has a public engagement lead who works within their College to define their public engagement strategy and to encourage staff and students to engage in an impactful way with the public.

Hear from our Citizens UK Partners: 

Co Chair, Citizens UK

View our partner videos.

Headteacher, St Clare's Catholic Primary School

View our partner videos.

Co Chair, Citizens UK

View our partner videos.

Methodist Church Minister

View our partner videos.