Aston University has been ranked 5th in the 2012 Sunday Times University Guide for students achieving graduate level jobs.

Aston Uni

Aston University and Matthew Boulton College | Solarized Image by: Elliot Brown

With 87.7% of Aston's students gaining graduate level jobs, the Midlands university tops Britain's elite: Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Durham.  The guide is also impressed with Aston’s tag-line, “Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research”, who describe it as one of the "more memorable" university slogans. 

The news has arrived in the same week that QS Guide to Global Universities, ranked Aston 51st in the world for graduate employability. Vice Chancellor, Professor Julia King said “this is a fantastic endorsement for the work we do at Aston to develop employable graduates who are equipped to become the leaders of tomorrow. The integrated Aston placement year, where our students work within a business or professional  environment, our commitment to global citizenship, and our strong support for entrepreneurship and language study are part of a package that is second to none when it comes to preparing graduates for the world of work.”

Studentguardian comment:

With university fees going through the roof students will be increasingly looking to universities to justify higher fees.  One way in which universities  can provide  good value for money is by ensuring that they equip their student customers with the skills they need to secure worthwhile employment.   While we recognise the need for universities, like Aston, to prepare students for the world of work, there is a danger that putting the emphasis on employability the supply of education will be driven by the demands of big business.


Student Information

Four ways how universities increase thier employability rankings.

1. Encourage placements:  More than half of Aston’s Students take up placements. 

2. Maintain links with business:  Aston recognises the changing needs of the market.

3. Adopt an International focus: Aston provides free foreign language tuition for first years.

4. Insist on good “A” levels:  40% of Aston’s entrants to have three A levels at AAB or better. 

Sunday Times Guide was published on 11th September 2011.


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A Newcastle University study has discovered that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed by an ultra-low calorie low diet.  Two and half million people in the UK are affected by Type 2 diabetes, a long-term condition caused by too much sugar in the blood.

Dew dews

The study, funded by Diabetes UK, monitored 11 people who all reversed their diabetes by drastically cutting their food intake to just 600 calories a day for two months.  In three months seven of the study group remained free of diabetes.

Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University, who led the study and also works for The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "To have people free of diabetes after years with the condition is remarkable - and all because of an eight week diet."

While it has long been believed that someone with Type 2 diabetes will always have the disease, and get steadily worse, the Newcastle University study has shown that the condition can be reversed.

Gordon Parmley, 67, from Stocksfield in Northumberld, who took part in the trial, said: "At the end of the trial, I was told my insulin levels were normal and after six years, I no longer needed my diabetes tablets. Still today, 18 months on, I don’t take them. It’s astonishing really that a diet – hard as it was – could change my health so drastically. After six years of having diabetes I can tell the difference - I feel better, even walking round the golf course is easier."


"At first the hunger was quite severe and I had to distract myself with something else – walking the dog, playing golf – or doing anything to occupy myself and take my mind off food, but I lost an astounding amount of weight in a short space of time."

The Research featured at the American Diabetes Association conference and published in Diabetologia, transforms thinking on diabetes. It demonstrates that people who go on a very low calorie diet can remove fat which is clogging up the pancreas allowing normal insulin secretion to be restored.


Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: “We welcome the results of this research because it shows that Type 2 diabetes can be reversed, on a par with successful surgery without the side effects. However, this diet is not an easy fix and Diabetes UK strongly recommends that such a drastic diet should only be undertaken under medical supervision. Despite being a very small trial, we look forward to future results particularly to see whether the reversal would remain in the long term.”

Student information - what is Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a common life-long health condition. There are 2.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 850,000 people who have the condition but don’t know it.

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. This is because your pancreas does not produce any insulin, or not enough, to help glucose enter your body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).

Traditionally, Type 2, or adult-onset diabetes has been thought that as a progressive condition which has to be controlled initially by diet, then tablets, but may eventually require insulin injections.

Worringly, the condition is increasingly found in young adults and children.  Type 2 diabetes is caused by too much glucose in the blood due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin - a hormone which breaks down glucose into energy in the cells – or due to the body not reacting to it, known as insulin sensitivity. 

Read the full study