Aston University main building
  • Aston University aims to be a leading university of science, technology and enterprise
  • The university is defined as inclusive, entrepreneurial and transformational
  • A key focus of the strategy is the creation of positive socioeconomic impact.

Aston University has launched an ambitious new 2030 strategy, rooted in its home city of Birmingham, UK, setting out plans to create a new model of university for a changing world. 

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

Moving towards 2030, the university’s vision is to be a leading university of science, technology and enterprise, measured by the positive transformational impact it achieves for the people, students, industry, businesses and communities it serves. The strategy defines Aston University as an inclusive, entrepreneurial and transformational university, building on its proud past as the first advanced college of technology in UK, that is taking its rightful place in this Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Three strategic themes form the key pillars of the strategy: - 

  • Our students – ready for work and life
  • Our people and place – inclusive and innovative
  • Our impact – enriching our communities.

Aston University is proud of its connection to Birmingham and the regional communities, and the strategy includes a pledge to further enrich the city’s and region’s cultural, physical and socioeconomic environment. Over the next seven years, Aston University will become a thriving ‘urban university’, integrated seamlessly within the city centre and where the university is seen as a key driver of city regeneration and a trusted partner for alumni, businesses and the community. While the university is currently centred around the Aston Triangle, it will shortly open John Cadbury House, a new university headquarters in Birmingham’s thriving business district.

The Aston University campus will become the heart of a globally significant innovation district, engaging with local partners and organisations, acting as a cultural and intellectual resource for the city and wider region. The university is establishing this world-class innovation district in partnership with Birmingham City Council and Bruntwood SciTech – the new Birmingham Innovation Quarter (B-IQ) – to be an innovation ecosystem focused on science, technology and enterprise.

As an inclusive university, Aston University will build upon its founders’ dream as an establishment defined not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed. Inclusion and diversity lie at the heart of how the university operates and the decisions made. Aston University is only the second university in the UK to achieve Athena Swan gold in diversity award for engineering. It has also renewed its Civic Agreement, actioned the Race Equality Charter and secured University of Sanctuary status.

As an entrepreneurial university, Aston University will create a favourable ecosystem to allow innovation to thrive, including through B-IQ. The university will be a place where technology, talent, businesses and cultural institutions come together to harness fresh ideas, and where students are taught to ask the right questions, solve problems, pursue new frontiers, innovate and contribute to local and global communities.

As a transformational university, Aston University will need to think and act differently, beyond the conventional boundaries of today, to create a more agile and adaptive university, a learning organisation for the future powered by digital innovation. The best example of this is the new Aston Health Services Hub currently being developed on campus as part of the 2030 strategy to provide health care for students and the community. The hub will bring together cutting-edge research in precision healthcare and digital health, clinical training and clinical trials, with embedded NHS services, tech companies and partners. Aston University will also embed professional practice in all courses, encourage interdisciplinary teaching and facilitate a collaborative approach with industry as a way of working in all domains. 

The strategy is underpinned by five values – ambition, collaboration, inclusion, innovation and integrity. Ambition will drive the university to advance and accomplish its goals, strive for excellence and create new value for our beneficiaries. The strategy recognises the value of collaborating across teams and disciplines towards a shared purpose. Aston University will provide an inclusive, caring and empowering environment for all, and will nurture an innovative environment that values new ideas, seeks diverse perspectives and pursue game-changing innovations and new enterprises that will drive inclusive growth. By valuing honesty, trust, fairness and ethical behaviour, the university will ensure that integrity and professionalism inform and guide all that it does.

Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University says:

“Over the past year here at Aston we have explored possible scenarios for our future within our city, region, and more broadly within a national and international context. How we might navigate the challenges of economic uncertainty, digital transformation and digital inclusion, health inequity, climate crisis and global unrest, to name a few. We have focused on how best to prepare our students for work and life, within an increasingly complex and uncertain world, and how to help our communities thrive economically, socially and culturally in the face of all these challenges. 

“Our bold 2030 strategy provides a roadmap for the next chapter of Aston’s evolution as one of the leading universities in UK - a transformational university that will be measured by the positive impact we achieve for our people, students, industry, businesses and the communities we serve. A new model of university for a changing world.”

Read the full strategy on the Aston University website.

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 Helen Tunnicliffe, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7827 090240 or email:

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