Aston University has been named ‘University of the Year’ by The Guardian.
The prestigious accolade comes just weeks after we rose to number 30 in the rankings of The Guardian University Guide 2021 – a league table that focuses on student satisfaction, graduate employment and quality of teaching. In making this award, the judges considered key criteria including:
Highly paid graduates
Aston graduates are among the highest paid in the country, ranked 15th for earnings 5 years after graduation, with a median salary of £33,200 (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2020).
Closing attainment gaps
More than half the students (59%) achieving a 1st or 2:1 at Aston were from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds in 2018/19 – the highest proportion in the sector (Higher Education Statistics Agency 2018/19).
With a strong commitment to embedding sustainability, Aston is one of the ‘greenest’ universities in the UK and is in the top 10 of the People and Planet University Green League, 2019.
Retention of students
Aston has one of the best retention levels in the sector, on a par with many highly-selective universities.
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"Aston came top of the measure this year thanks to its sustained improvement in the Guardian University Guide, along with its commitment to sustainability and a focus on enabling students from a wide range of backgrounds to achieve their potential including graduate employability.”
Rachel Hall, Universities Editor at The Guardian
Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, said
“Being named ‘University of the Year’ by The Guardian is a fantastic testament to the hard work of all our staff and students here at Aston. I am incredibly proud of our diverse, creative and dynamic community, who particularly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, have proven that we are truly a team."
"This award is also recognition of the work by our staff across the University to ensure we are giving students the best possible learning experience and supporting them to achieve the best possible outcomes.”
Aston University was also recognised for consistently high earnings for employed Aston University graduates - some of the highest paid in the country five years after graduating - in data released by the Department for Education. The 2020 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data showed that employed Aston University graduates had the 15th largest median earnings (£33,200) five years after graduation.
See Alec's response in full
University of the Year
The Guardian has named us University of the Year, saying that Aston “shone out for its commitment to social mobility, diversity and sustainability”.
Award-winning Students' Union
Aston’s new Students’ Union building won the Buildings That Inspire category in The Guardian University Awards – winning praise for its “multipurpose rooms bathed in natural light”
Outstanding Entrepreneurial University
The Times Higher Education Awards judges named Aston the most Outstanding Entrepreneurial University – recognising our “strategic” and “inclusive” approach to supporting businesses and student entrepreneurship.