Aston University KPI

Aston University

Aston University KPI

As a chartered corporation, operating under the terms of a Royal Charter granted in 1966, the University enjoys substantial authority to determine and direct its own affairs, and, in particular, has the freedom to determine the scope of its teaching and research activity.

Two main bodies are involved in the governance of the University: the Council and the Senate. The constitution and terms of reference of the Council are set out in the University Statutes and while those of the Senate are contained in the University Ordinances. The day-to-day management of the University is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor assisted by the Executive Team.

The Council and Senate have undertaken reviews of the University committee structure in recent years with a view to expediting and streamlining the decision-making process and aligning it more closely to the University Strategy (‘Aston 2020’), eliminating the former replication of consideration of issues in different committees and optimising the use of the time spent by colleagues in committee work. The Committee System aims to balance the need for managerial accountability and effective and efficient governance and management with the requirement to maintain the democratic procedures for representation of views set out in the University’s Charter and Statutes. The University’s current committee system is set out below.



The governing body of the University, overseeing institutional activities. More specifically, this includes approving the University Strategy, long-term business plans, high-level Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and annual budgets, and ensuring that these meet the needs of stakeholders. The Council also ensures compliance with the Statutes, Ordinances and provisions regulating the University, as well as its framework of governance, and monitors systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment.

Audit Committee

Oversees the arrangements for monitoring and review of internal control systems, internal and external audit, the appointment of auditors, and the arrangements of the University for securing economy, University policy on fraud and irregularity, efficiency and effectiveness. It is also responsible, under delegation from the Council, for examining the University’s risk management control (risk management itself being properly a responsibility of the Executive).

Finance and Major Projects Committee  

Exercises the powers delegated by Council in relation to the finances of the University, and renders appropriate reports. The work of the Committee is focused in particular on ensuring that institutional resources are deployed in accordance with the University Strategy. This includes the review and commendation of major capital investments in estates and in ICT.

Nominations Committee

Makes recommendations to the Council on the appointment of lay governors.

Remuneration Committee

On behalf of the University Council the Remuneration Committee is charged with overseeing the University Remuneration Strategy, Policy and Approvals processes to ensure that these arrangements are fit for purpose, and compliant with appropriate regulations and good practice.



Senate is the principal academic body of the University. It is responsible for overseeing the quality and standards of all teaching and learning carried out at Aston, as well as for all research activities. Senate meetings concentrate on significant areas of academic strategy, policy and delivery. Academic ordinances and academic awards can only be made with the agreement of Senate. With over 50 members including Deans, other academic and professional staff, and student representatives, Senate is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and meets four times a year. Senate has several committees including Learning and Teaching, Research, and International Strategy and delegates powers to these bodies when required (see below).

Senate Sub-Committees to oversee the development and delivery of academic strategy

International Strategy CommitteeDevelops, enables and evaluates the implementation of the University’s international strategy.

Learning and Teaching Committee

Develops, enables and evaluates the implementation of the University strategy for Learning and Teaching. It also undertakes work in the areas of teaching quality and standards, collaborative teaching provision, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes management, undergraduate admissions, and widening participation. The Committee has the following Sub-Committees:

  • Collaborative Provision Strategy Group ensures that any proposed collaboration with a particular partner meets the mission of the University, that there is a strong business case for collaboration and that the proposal does not present significant risk to the institution.  CPSG aims to provide a body of knowledge and expertise to facilitate the development of new initiatives and share good practice
  • Programme Approval Sub-Committee considers for approval new programme proposals for  undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes.
  • Regulation Sub-Committee overviews regulatory matters at both institutional and School level.

Research Committee

Develops, enables and evaluates the implementation of the University strategy for Research, ensuring that the strategy is consistent with School Research Strategies and the University’s overall strategy Aston2020.

  • Graduate School Management Committee considers and makes recommendations concerning the regulation, assurance and enhancement of the quality and standards of research degree programmes, including the supervision, training and examination of postgraduate research students.
  • Research Ethics Committee provides advice to Research Committee and Senate on the development, implementation and review of institutional procedures and guidelines relating to ethical issues arising from research, consultancy and other related activities, taking into account emerging issues of institutional, national or international significance. The Research Ethics Committee maintains a broad framework of guidelines within which Schools may establish local codes of ethics. Considers and approves on behalf of Senate the acceptability of standards of safety and welfare of human experimental subjects in all projects carried out in the University.

Senate Sub-Committees to perform necessary regulatory work on behalf of Senate

Academic Appeals Committee

Considers appeals against the decision of a Board of Examiners for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of a procedural or personal nature. Refer to the Academic Appeals Procedures for more information.

Disciplinary Board

Appointed by the Senate to consider and adjudicate upon any matters referred to it which are prima facie breaches of discipline, and to consider appeals against decisions of authorised University Officers. Refer to the Regulations on Student Discipline for more information

Complaints Committee

Appointed by the Senate and Council, and chaired by a lay member of Council. Considers student complaints in respect of their experience at the University, including services and facilities provided by Schools or support departments. Refer to the Student Complaints Procedures for more information.

Advisory Committee for Awards and Honours

Considers nominations for honorary degrees and awards and makes recommendations thereon to the Senate


Ordinance VI: School Committees specifies the functions of School Management Teams and other major Schoool Committees.

Ordinance IV: School Forums specifies the purpose and arrangements for meeting of.School Forums for members of the School.0