Published on 21/06/2024
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L to R, Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Deborah Wince-Smith, Lady Mayoress of Birmingham an
Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Deborah Wince-Smith, Lady Mayoress of Birmingham & Professor Aleks Subic
  • Over 200 distinguished guests attended this year’s Charter Dinner
  • It commemorates the granting of the University’s Royal Charter in 1966
  • Deborah Wince-Smith, President and CEO of the Global Council of Competitiveness, gave the after-dinner speech.

Over 200 senior figures from industry, public services, education, professional organisations and the business community attended Aston University’s annual Charter Dinner held at Conference Aston on Wednesday 19 June.

The dinner is an important event in the University calendar to commemorate the granting of its Royal Charter in 1966 and to recognise and celebrate the many strategic partnerships and deeply rooted collaborations between the University and its stakeholders in Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond.  

Before the dinner began, Aston University’s Pro-Chancellor Dr Matthew Crummack announced that prominent business leader Dr Jason Wouhra has been appointed as the University’s new Chancellor. The first Chancellor of Asian heritage to hold this office, Dr Wouhra succeeds Sir John Sunderland who has served as Chancellor for the last 13 years. 

In his introductory speech to guests, Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, outlined some of the key milestones that have been reached towards the University’s 2030 strategy, including a new strategic partnership with Symbiosis International University in India.  

Deborah Wince-Smith, President of the United States Council on Competitiveness, gave a keynote address, which focused on the importance of place-based innovation and the ways in which universities could and should be leading the way.

Speaking after the dinner, Professor Subic said: 

“The Charter Dinner is a special celebration that we share with our partners, colleagues and friends to celebrate Aston University’s proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875 and receiving our Royal Charter in 1966.

“For more than a century, Aston University has been committed to serving the people of Birmingham, the West Midlands, the United Kingdom and beyond.  Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to enrich our diverse communities and support inclusive growth through education, research, and innovation.

“This year I was delighted to welcome Deborah Wince-Smith, President and CEO of the Global Council of Competitiveness, to give the after-dinner speech this year.  Deborah is an international leader in competitiveness policy, innovation strategy and international economic policy.  

“The world’s most innovative ideas and breakthroughs occur at the intersection of different cultures, backgrounds, disciplines and sectors and the inclusive nature of Aston University and Birmingham provides the right setting for innovation to thrive. Creating a place-based innovation ecosystem through strategic partnerships and serving as a catalyst for impactful research, high value business creation and inclusive growth is a key priority of the Aston 2030 Strategy.”
 

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7446 910063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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