Published on 11/02/2021
Education Minister
  • Universities Minister Michelle Donelan MP makes virtual visit to Aston University 
  • Online visit attended by Vice-Chancellor and a range of students and staff
  • Minister visits gives students chance to discuss the 'big issues' 

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan MP heard how Aston University is continuing to provide a high quality learning experience for students throughout the Covid-19 pandemic during a virtual visit to the campus on Thursday 11 February. 

The Minister met with Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Ruth Ayres, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Saskia Loer Hansen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement), alongside members of staff and students to learn how the University is supporting student wellbeing and teaching with learning having shifted mostly online, as well as the enhanced measures that have been put in place to ensure students have the support they need both academically and personally during the pandemic.

Professor Alec Cameron said: “We are delighted that the Minister made a virtual visit to our University. We were able to discuss how we’ve been supporting our students and staff throughout the pandemic and how proud we are of them.

“I’ve been particularly inspired by how our staff and students have risen to the challenge. Our staff have worked tirelessly to enable us to prepare for a blended delivery model of teaching and learning.

“Although this year has been a tough year for everyone, like all universities we continue to strive to do our best: for our applicants, students, staff and the wider community.”

I am incredibly proud of our diverse, creative and dynamic community which has pulled together and have proved that we are truly a team.”

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan MP said: ““This has been a difficult time for students, and it is vital that they do not have to put their lives on hold and can progress with their studies and career as planned. 

I have been very impressed by Aston’s approach to blended learning and want to thank staff, for their ongoing efforts to provide a fulfilling and enriching experience, and students, who continue to show passion and enthusiasm despite the challenges they face.”

The Minister spoke to several students, including Harry Sheppard, President of Aston Students’ Union, on what attracted him to Aston and some of the support measures he received.

Harry said: “Our meeting with the Minister provided us with a great opportunity to discuss some of the big issues that students are facing at this particularly difficult time.”



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. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

In 2018/19, 55.7% of the total student population came from an ethnic minority background, compared to a national average of 19%, this is the 2nd largest proportion in the UK (HESA data).

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Rebecca Hume, Press & PR Officer,
on 07557 745416 or email

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