Published on 10/06/2024
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  • The University's Work Global Stay Local programme won the Future of Talent & Innovation award
  • The programme has enabled nearly 400 postgraduate students to gain global professional experience through virtual internships
  • Part of the Aston Global Advantage (AGA) module, it is a collaboration with Virtual Internships to offer students placement opportunities while they complete their degrees locally.

Aston University’s virtual internship  programme has won the Future of Talent & Innovation award at the University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN) annual conference in Madrid.

The Work Global Stay Local programme is an integral part of the Aston Global Advantage (AGA) professional development module.

The award, sponsored by ZEISS Group, recognises the collaboration between Aston University and Virtual Internships, which has enabled nearly 400 postgraduate students to gain professional experience globally while completing their degrees locally.

Since its inception in 2018, the Work Global Stay Local programme has offered Aston University students the opportunity to undertake virtual internships in diverse career fields across the world. This innovative model has not only provided first professional experiences to many students, but has also opened doors to career fields that might have otherwise been inaccessible.

Elsa Zenatti-Daniels, postgraduate student development Lead at Aston University, presented the award-winning session titled 'The creation of multi-organisation, multi-industry collaboration with hundreds of global SMEs' alongside Ed Holroyd Pearce, president and co-founder of Virtual Internships.

The session showcased the impactful partnerships that have been established through this programme, emphasising the importance of investing in student upskilling and supporting the growth of SMEs worldwide.

Professor Zoe Radnor, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences at Aston University, said:

“This initiative highlights Aston University's commitment to enhancing student employability and bridging the gap between academia and industry.

“The recognition at the University Industry Innovation Network has sparked significant interest from other leading institutions, further solidifying our position as a leader in innovative education and student development.”

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:

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Sue Smith,
Head of Press and Communications


Sam Cook,
Press and Communications Manager


Nicola Jones,
Press and Communications Manager


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