Aston pioneers new thematic approach to education

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The FINANCIAL — Aston University will become the first university to offer its undergraduate students training in how climate change impacts businesses and society, when it hosts Carbon Week 2015 in the first week of November. 

In a pioneering move, the University will dedicate a week of teaching for all second year undergraduates across all its schools to the importance of understanding the challenge of climate change and the requirements of a low carbon economy. The timing of the event comes just weeks before the UN Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21), which starts on 30 November, according to Aston University.

The University believes that by spending a week focused purely on this globally important topic, it will enhance the skill set of its students, making them more employable when they graduate. Crucially the Week is open to students on all courses, not just those traditionally associated with climate change studies.  

Commenting on the event, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University Professor Dame Julia King said: “Climate change is perhaps the biggest challenge facing the world today. As a University, we felt it was vital that we equip our students – the business leaders of the future – with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to make a difference when it comes to adapting to a low carbon economy. 

“By taking this pioneering approach and dedicating a week of the academic term to teaching students about the impact of climate change, we not only give our students the unique opportunity to learn vital skills that they can then take forward in their careers, but we set the benchmark for other academic institutions and employers about how important it is to act on this issue now.”

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Carbon Week will launch with a Conference at the Birmingham NEC. A range of high profile guests will present on the science, politics and media coverage of climate change. Speakers include: 

Dr Ismail El Gizouli, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Rt Hon. Caroline Spelman MP, Former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Kirsty Lewis, The Met Office

Reeta Chakrabati & Clive Myrie, News broadcasters

Keith Clarke, Royal Academy of Engineering

Robin Ince, Comedian

There will also be a number of local and national businesses present such as Marks & Spencer, BMW, the NHS, IBM, KPMG and Good Energy, providing the students with excellent networking and career enhancing opportunities.  

The Week will also see students participate in workshops, lectures and practical exercises, designed to provide them with something new and different to present to their future employers, whatever vocation they choose to follow. 


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