Published on 13/05/2022
 Award success for Aston University’s innovative approach to hybrid working
  • People, space and digital approach to transformational change at Aston University has been recognised in annual awards scheme for HR professionals
  • The Universities Human Resources (UHR) Awards were announced at the UHR Conference on Wednesday 11 May
  • The Awards highlight the creativity and success of HR practitioners in higher education. 

Aston University has been recognised for its innovation in the development and implementation of its approach to hybrid working by a national awards scheme for HR professionals. 

The change project team won the Universities Human Resources (UHR) Award for Organisational Development and Culture Change for its work in developing a people, space and digital approach to transformational change to introduce its dynamic working strategy. 

Post-pandemic, all professional staff at Aston University have adopted dynamic working with three newly designed agile working spaces that support different types of work on campus. The three spaces specifically support collaborative work, connection and focused work.

The UHR Awards highlight the creativity and success of HR practitioners in higher education and their impact on organisational culture and performance in UK universities. 

The winners were announced during the UHR Conference 2022 on Wednesday 11 May, at which Richard Billingham, Aston University’s executive director of organisational development, together with Lisa Gregg, director of organisational change, were presented with the award.

Commenting on the Aston University submission, the judges said that it was a comprehensive and transformative project which showed clear evidence of permanent and useful changes and a strong, joined up approach. They also said that, while other institutions are thinking about and trying things, the University has moved faster and further with practical applications and that the project was transferable and of interest to other institutions.  

On receiving the award, Richard Billingham said: 
“We are embracing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reset work using a hybrid dynamic working model. Through a people, space and digital approach we are providing the working conditions to empower our staff, to build a culture of trust, to be dynamic and focused on outcomes in order to be a truly agile institution, able to provide the best experience for our beneficiaries and respond to the ever-changing environment in which we operate.

“I am delighted that the success of our approach has been recognised with this award from UHR.”

Helen Scott, executive director of UHR, said: 
“The judges had a really difficult time in their deliberations this year, with as many nominations to look through as ever and some really great projects, plans and teams to consider. It is a core part of the UHR remit to be able to find and celebrate good practice and our awards help to do that, acting as a signpost towards ideas and approaches that are succeeding. In making this award the judges commented that other universities are thinking about this and trying things, but Aston University has moved faster and further with practical applications - this is a comprehensive and transformative project.”

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.


Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7825 342091 or email

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