A statement of partnership between the University, our students and our Students' Union.

Our mission is to be the UK's leading university for students aspiring to succeed in business and the professions, where original research, enterprise and inspiring teaching deliver local and global impact.

Aston is a unique and very special place to study due to its outstanding graduate employability, commitment to sustainability and global citizenship, international and multi-cultural student body, city-centre campus and its digital learning environment.

Values

Aston is professional and ambitious

Aston is innovative and collaborative

Aston is ethical and inclusive

Partnership

This Student Charter, developed by the University and the Students' Union, outlines our commitment to our Aston Strategy 2018 - 2023.

The University and the Students' Union are committed to working in partnership with you so that you can benefit from the highest quality educational and student experience. We want you to become an outstanding professional and a responsible global citizen.

Covid and the global pandemic led to significant disruption for the HE sector. The University has risen to this challenge to review everything it does, ensuring a 'students first' approach.

We are looking forward to working with you towards a successful and rewarding time at Aston.

Signed:
Professor Alec Cameron 
                              Balraj Purewal
Vice Chancellor, Aston University                     President, Aston Students' Union

Principle One - Students will enjoy their learning at Aston and develop a high level of skill and competence in their discipline

The University’s commitment to this principle is to:

  1. Draw on Aston’s cutting-edge research and our professional expertise to deliver high quality teaching and learning experiences, both on campus and online.
     
  2. Ensure your degree is well organised and managed in a way that puts students first, with open and transparent communication. This includes details of teaching, mode of teaching delivery and assessment, learning hours, exam arrangements, research supervision, signposting to recommended reading, professional requirements, and access to personal tutors and academic guidance and support.
     
  3. Provide students with the resources and information required to succeed in their academic endeavours, both on campus and online, including; MyEngagement Learning Platform: access to a wide range of learning materials, including lecture recordings where appropriate to complement the learning experience; Library resources; IT facilities; and timely and relevant feedback on assessments and exams.

Your commitment to this principle is to:

  1. Engage proactively and ethically in all aspects of the learning process, including contact time in classes, group and laboratory work, sufficient time in private study, and engagement with synchronous and asynchronous learning.
     
  2. Take the initiative to keep in contact with the University. This includes regular meetings with your tutor and a commitment to stay informed via Aston email and MAP.
     
  3. Give constructive feedback on your experience when requested, in the spirit of partnership, including completing national and university surveys.

Aston Students’ Union’s commitment to this principle is to:

  1. Provide you and your Student Reps with the knowledge and opportunities to contribute to the development of your curriculum and provide effective feedback.
     
  2. Support your academic-based societies to hold events and other activities relevant to your discipline.
     
  3. Represent the student voice, both individually and collectively, to ensure you have the tools to succeed in your chosen disciplines.
Principle Two - Students will have high rates of graduate employability and be prepared for life beyond Aston

The University’s commitment to this principle is to:

  1. Support your search for employment or further study/development of your research with advice and information on careers, qualifications, courses, enterprise, and entrepreneurship.
     
  2. Enable undergraduates to take a placement year as part of their course and/or provide opportunities for integrated workplace learning or development of employability skills within a professional degree programme.
     
  3. Foster and encourage entrepreneurship, social responsibility and intercultural awareness.

Your commitment to this principle is to:

  1. Engage proactively with Aston’s Careers and Placements team and participate in employability activities relevant to your programme and/or related to your career aspirations and interests.
     
  2. Utilise opportunities available from relevant organisations (such as professional bodies) and extracurricular activities to broaden your skills and experience.
     
  3. Engage with relevant student peer and professional mentoring opportunities (including the Aston Alumni Network) to promote your employability and global outlook.

Aston Students' Union commitment to this principle is to:

  1. Provide you with opportunities for personal development outside the curriculum. This can be through involvement with your student-led clubs and societies, student representation, various employment opportunities and other voluntary roles.
     
  2. Work in partnership with the University to host and support events that help you create networks and contacts with future employers or placement opportunities.
     
  3. Ensure you are recognised for your extra-curricular activities through your Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR).
Principle Three - Students will have a fulfilling university experience, be well supported with regard to their mental health and wellbeing and be well equipped to succeed in life

The University's commitment to this principle is to:

  1. Create an environment which encourages personal development, free speech, mutual understanding, inclusivity, and personal and academic freedom.
     
  2. Provide an extensive range of student support services, ensuring access to professional information, advice and guidance. This includes, but is not limited to, the Learning Development Centre, Careers and Placements, Student Welfare and Counselling and Mental Health, Student and Academic Services, Student Finance, Sport Aston, and Mentoring.
     
  3. Play an active civic role in the city and wider West Midlands region to promote and increase the amazing contribution the University, its students and staff make.

Your commitment to this principle is to:

  1. Make the most of your time at Aston and every available opportunity. Your time at university is a unique experience that can change your life for the better.
     
  2. Work hard, play hard and treat others as friends and with respect.
     
  3. Create and utilise opportunities to work with, and learn from, people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Aston Students' Union's commitment to this principle is to:

  1. Support you to develop and lead your student community via student clubs and societies, elected student representatives and its democratic structures.
     
  2. Engage actively with you, its members, to represent effectively your academic interests on an individual, departmental, institutional and national level and provide independent advice and guidance on relevant issues.
     
  3. Celebrate our diverse student community through inspirational student-led events, activities and campaign. Help to enhance your voice and improve your experience whilst promoting the values of sustainability, social responsibility and global citizenship.
Employability & Entrepreneurship

You can expect us to:

  • expect undergraduates to take a placement year as part of their course and/or provide opportunities for integrated workplace learning within a professional degree programme
  • secure appropriate professional accreditation for our programmes
  • support your search employment or further study with advice and information on careers, qualifications, courses, enterprise and entrepreneurship.
  • provide access to vacancies, advice on application procedures and training for job seeking skills, including support after you graduate
  • foster and encourage entrepreneurship

We expect you to:

  • take advantage of paid and unpaid, short-term and one-year placement opportunities relevant to your course*
  • engage with the Careers and Employability Centre and participate in employability activities relevant to your programme
  • seek contacts and opportunities with people and organisations, including the Aston alumni network, that might help your employability and global citizenship
  • comply with the requirements of the professional bodies appropriate to your degree, including standards of conduct and behaviour and fitness to practice
  • engage with relevant student peer mentoring opportunities
  • gain skills and experiences that enhance your CV by participating in Students' Union sports clubs and societies, volunteering, work experience and fundraising*

You can expect the Students' Union to:

  • provide opportunities for personal development through clubs and societies, volunteering, work experience and fundraising*
  • allocate funding or provide sponsorship for sports clubs and societies that will widen participation
  • support student proposals that positively benefit the larger student body
  • host or support careers events, creating face to face contact with placement and graduate employers 

 

*where applicable, for example this may not apply to students who are distance learners or those studying at partner institutions.

 

Global Citizenship

Global Citizenship is the foundation for everything we do at Aston

You can expect us to:

  • create an environment which encourages personal development, free speech, mutual understanding and academic freedom
  • show respect, courtesy and professionalism to all
  • provide equality of treatment for all regardless of gender, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief
  • offer opportunities for students to develop their cultural intelligence through inter- cultural activities and language learning provision
  • provide free foreign language tuition to first year undergraduates (including English tuition for international students)*
  • encourage and support student participation in elections for student representatives

We expect you to:

  • create and take opportunities to work with and learn from people with different cultures
  • develop your awareness of the perspectives and needs of others and your skills in working successfully with them
  • show respect, courtesy and professionalism towards all other members of Aston University and the wider community in all interactions including those via social media
  • protect the physical environment by active participation in recycling schemes and other
  • environmentally friendly initiatives

You can expect the Students' Union to:

  • support societies that provide opportunities for inter-cultural development
  • host or support events aimed at building inter-cultural understanding
  • support active student community engagement
  • develop networks with other students' unions in order to create increased opportunities for knowledge sharing
  • promote the annual One World Week, a celebration of Aston's multicultural community

 

*where applicable, for example this may not apply to students who are distance learners or those studying at partner institutions.

Quality Learning

You can expect us to:

  • draw on Aston's cutting edge research, and our professional expertise, to deliver exciting and inspiring learning experiences
  • provide teaching staff who take advantage of active support from the University to develop and enhance their teaching skills
  • provide a handbook or equivalent document with details of learning and assessment, contact hours, exam arrangements, academic guidance and support, professional requirements (if appropriate) with signposting to recommended reading
  • offer access to a wide range of learning materials, Library resources and appropriate IT facilities
  • provide a clear timetable for teaching and assessment
  • provide as much notice as possible of any unavoidable timetable/session changes
  • assess work fairly and provide meaningful feedback - normally within four working weeks
  • offer support via your tutors throughout your studies, including during any placement
  • support and embed student participation in academic development and course management

We expect you to:

  • engage in all aspects of the learning process, attend and participate in contact time such as classes, group and laboratory work and regularly spend sufficient time in private study*
  • take responsibility for submitting assessments on time and use feedback to enhance your learning
  • attend meetings with your tutor, keep in contact, including during any placement, and seek advice when you need to*
  • use the email and MAP systems regularly*
  • inform your tutor or School Office as soon as possible of anything which might affect your studies such as absence and obtain advance agreement for any expected essential absence*
  • seek help quickly - from your School Office, the Hub or the Students' Union's Advice & Representation Centre - if you encounter difficulties
  • be familiar with, and follow, processes, regulations and codes of conduct

You can expect the Students' Union to:

  • inform you of University plans and proposals
  • represent the views of the student community to the University and the locality
  • advise you on any issues you may have with the University, and on following procedures and regulations
  • represent you at reconvened exam boards, academic appeals and disciplinary hearings

 

*where applicable; for example this may not apply to students who are distance learners or those studying at partner institutions

Student Experience

A great student experience

You can expect us to:

  • provide high quality, safe facilities for studying, living and relaxing*
  • respect your right to appropriate and effective study, social and living space*
  • offer clear information about course costs, payment options, payment deadlines and an estimate of any additional costs (if required)
  • Give friendly, professional and helpful support with your studies and any personal, financial or welfare issues
  • resolve problems through open and transparent communication
  • provide a computer account giving access to email, My Aston Portal (MAP), the virtual learning environment, an e-portfolio and other IT facilities
  • inform you of, and consult with you on, important University plans and proposals
  • provide clear information about procedures relating to complaints, appeals and disciplinary matters
  • value and act on the comments you give relating to your experience and use such feedback to make improvements

We expect you to:

  • attend induction, including International Orientation and Freshers' Week*
  • take advantage of sporting, cultural, community and social activities
  • ask for help to resolve issues affecting your experience at Aston
  • give feedback on your experience when requested, including completing national and University surveys and questionnaires
  • consider volunteering to become a student representative on University or School committees
  • support your course representatives
  • consider participating in the Students' Union Council*
  • communicate actively with course representatives

You can expect the Students' Union to:

  • ensure you receive equal treatment and are aware of your rights and responsibilities
  • encourage you to join student societies*
  • promote sport and exercise opportunities*
  • support student participation by encouraging you to take part in Students' Union elections and decision making
  • develop and train course representatives and Students' Union Councillors
  • provide confidential welfare services including academic, financial and personal advice
  • invite you to give comments on your experiences and use student feedback to create improvements
  • campaign actively for constructive development of the student experience

 

*Where applicable, for example this may not apply to students who are distance learners or those studying at partner institutions.

NOTES:

Aston University Student Charter

The Student Charter is a summary of the aspirations and expectations of the University, our Students’ Union and our students. It is not intended to be a legally binding document and it does not set out to define or limit the legal obligations and/or rights of the University, our Students’ Union or our students.

Full details of the legal obligations and/or rights are set out in other documents including all regulations, policies, programme regulations, codes of practice, student handbooks and procedures issued by the University, as well as the University’s Royal Charter and Statutes. Rights and obligations regarding the Students’ Union are set out in the Bye-Laws of Aston Students’ Union.

The University has an agreed Code of Practice with Aston Students’ Union, in the context of the Education Act 1994, to ensure that Aston Students’ Union is meeting its legislative obligations which include governance, financial affairs and electoral practices. This Code of Conduct is published on the Aston University and Aston Students’ Union websites.

For more information about any aspect of your student experience see ‘Supporting you’ and ‘Quick Links’ at www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/ contact The Hub at thehub@aston.ac.uk or the Students’ Union at union.reception@aston.ac.uk.

Annual Review

The Student Charter is reviewed annually for the forthcoming academic year. Last reviewed in August 2021.