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The University of Manchester is a "red brick" civic university located in Manchestermarker, England. It is a member of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities and the N8 Group for research collaboration. The university was formed in 2004 by the dissolution of the Victoria University of Manchester (which was commonly known as the University of Manchester) and UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology) and the immediate formation of a single institution inaugurated on 1 October. The University of Manchester and the constituent former institutions combined have 23 Nobel Laureates among their former students and staff, the third largest number of any single university in the United Kingdom behind Oxfordmarker and Cambridgemarker.

The university was named Sunday Times University of the Year in 2006 after winning the inaugural Times Higher Education Supplement University of the Year prize in 2005. According to The Sunday Times, "Manchester has a formidable reputation spanning most disciplines, but most notably in the life sciences, engineering, humanities, economics, sociology and the social sciences".

In 2007/08, the university had over 40,000 students studying 500 academic programmes and more than 10,000 staff. The University of Manchester is the largest single-site university in the United Kingdom, with the exception of the Open Universitymarker (which specialises in correspondence courses), Leeds Metropolitan Universitymarker (which is based on two campuses) and the University of London (which is more a collection of separate institutions). More students try to gain entry to the University of Manchester than any other university in the country, with more than 60,000 applications for undergraduate courses alone. In 2007 the University had an annual income of £637 million.

The university has a very high quality research profile. In the first national assessment of higher education research since the university’s founding, the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the University of Manchester came 3rd in terms of research power after Cambridge and Oxford and 8th for grade point average quality when including specialist institutions. The university was also ranked 7th in the UK, 8th in Europe and 26th worldwide by the Times Higher World University Rankings 2009.


The University's history as an academic institution began in 1824 and is closely linked to Manchester's emergence as the world's first industrial city. The English chemist John Dalton, together with Manchester businessmen and industrialists, established the Mechanics' Institute (later to become UMIST) to ensure that workers could learn the basic principles of science. Similarly, John Owens, a Manchester textile merchant, left a bequest of £96,942 in 1846 for the purpose of founding a college for the education of males on non-sectarian lines. His trustees established Owens College at Manchester in 1851. It was initially housed in a building, complete with Adam staircase, on the corner of Quay Street and Byrom Street which had been the home of the philanthropist Richard Cobden, and subsequently was to house Manchester County Court. In 1873 it moved to new buildings at Oxford Road, Chorlton-on-Medlockmarker and from 1880 it was a constituent college of the federal Victoria University. The university was established and granted a Royal Charter in 1880 to become England's first civic university; it was renamed the Victoria University of Manchester in 1903 and then absorbed Owens College the following year.

By 1905 the two institutions were large and active forces in the area, with the Municipal College of Technology, the forerunner of the later UMIST, forming the Faculty of Technology of the Victoria University of Manchester while continuing as a technical college in parallel with the advanced courses of study in the Faculty.

In 1987 Emeritus Professor John Griffith, then Chancellor of Manchester University, warned in a prescient article entitled "The Attack on Higher Education" of the serious danger posed by government policy which seeks to control the management of higher education. He pointed out the political weakness of the universities in the face of such governmental attack, a weakness which he saw as stemming from the universities' hierarchical structure, and the consequent antagonisms of political viewpoint between university heads and their staff. He concluded:"The history of this century in many countries warns us that democracy depends on a large degree of autonomy for the institutions of higher education. No governments of any political complexion must be allowed to destroy their freedom".'Since that article was written the independence of both universities and individual academics has been savagely eroded, and one of the principal mechanisms for that erosion has been the corruption of the principle of collegial governance.' George Wilmers, elected member of Senate and Post Graduate Tutor in the Dept of Mathematics, writing in 1994.

Before the merger, the University and UMIST between them counted 23 Nobel Prize winners amongst their former staff and students. Manchester has traditionally been particularly strong in the sciences, with the nuclear nature of the atom being discovered at Manchester by Rutherford, and the world's first stored-program computer coming into being at the university. Famous scientists associated with the university include the physicists Osborne Reynolds, Niels Bohr, Ernest Rutherford, James Chadwick, Arthur Schuster, Hans Geiger, Ernest Marsden and Balfour Stewart. However, the university has also contributed in many other fields, such as by the work of the mathematicians Paul Erdős, Horace Lamb and Alan Turing; the author Anthony Burgess; philosophers Samuel Alexander, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Alasdair MacIntyre; the Pritzker Prize and RIBA Stirling Prize winning architect Norman Foster and the composer Peter Maxwell Davies all attended, or worked in, Manchester. Well-known figures among the current academic staff include author Martin Amis, computer scientist Steve Furber, literary critic Terry Eagleton, economist Richard Nelson and biochemist Sir John Sulston, Nobel laureate of 2002.

In 2004, the Victoria University of Manchester (established in 1851) and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (established in 1824) were formally merged into a single institution.

The university today

The newly merged University of Manchester was officially launched on 22 October, 2004 when the Queen handed over the Royal Charter. It has the largest number of full time students in the UK, unless the University of London is counted as a single university. It teaches more academic subjects than any other British university. The President and Vice-Chancellor of the new university is Alan Gilbert, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbournemarker. One of his stated ambitions for the newly combined university is to 'establish it by 2015 among the 25 strongest research universities in the world on commonly accepted criteria of research excellence and performance'.

The Times Higher World University Rankings 2009 ranked Manchester overall 26th in the world and 5th by employer reviews. This followed the awarding by the inaugural Times Higher Supplement's University of the Year prize in 2005. The Academic Ranking of World Universities 2008 published by the Institute of Higher Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong Universitymarker ranked Manchester 5th in the UK, 6th in Europe and 40th in the world. According to High Fliers Research Limited's survey, 'The Graduate Market in 2007', University of Manchester students are being targeted by more top recruiters for 2007 graduate vacancies than any other UK university students. The Times Good University Guide 2009 ranked Manchester 27th of 113 Universities in the UK. Collectively from the aforementioned it can be discerned that rankings of the university have shown some discrepancy in regards to its local esteem with The Guardian ranking it as low as 32nd place in the UK (in its 2010 edition) while world rankings (such as the ARWU, THES and HEEACT) typically rank the university within the top 10 in Europe.

Furthermore the University has been ranked within the top 20 universities in the world for 2009 according to the Professional Ranking of World Universities. Its main compilation criterion is the number of Chief Executive Officers (or number 1 executive equivalent) which are among the "500 leading worldwide companies" as measured by revenue who studied in each university. The ranking places the University only behind Oxford nationally. Also a further report places the University within the top 20 Universities outside the US.

Manchester has the largest total income of all UK universities, standing at £637 million as of 2007. Its research income of £216 million is the fifth largest of any university in the country. Despite its size The University of Manchester is divided into only four faculties, each sub-divided into schools:

Campus and facilities

One Central Park
The main site of the University contains the vast majority of its facilities and is often referred to simply as campus. Despite this, Manchester is not a campus university as the concept is commonly understood. It is centrally located and the buildings of the main site are integrated into the fabric of Manchester, with non-university buildings and major roads between them.

Campus has a roughly hourglass shape and, like the Americas, comprises two parts: These names are not officially recognised by the University, but are commonly used, including in parts of its website. They roughly correspond to the campuses of the old UMIST and Victoria University respectively, although there was already some overlap before the merger.

Fallowfield Campus is the main residential campus of the University. It is located in Fallowfieldmarker, 2 miles (3 km) south of the main site.

There are a number of other university buildings located throughout the city, and throughout the further region, such as One Central Park and Jodrell Bank Observatorymarker, the latter in the nearby county of Cheshiremarker. The former is a collaboration between Manchester University and other partners in the region which offers office space to accommodate new start-up firms as well as venues for conferences and workshops.

Major projects

Following the merger, the University embarked on a £600 million programme of capital investment, to deliver eight new buildings and 15 major refurbishment projects by 2010, partly financed by a sale of unused assets. These include:

John Rylands University Library

The university's library, the John Rylands University Library, is the largest non-legal deposit library in the UK, as well as being the country's third-largest academic library after those of Oxfordmarker and Cambridgemarker.. It also has the largest collection of electronic resources of any library in the UK. The oldest part of the library, founded in memory of John Rylands by his wife Enriqueta Augustina Rylands as an independent institution, is situated in a Victorian Gothic building on Deansgatemarker, Manchester city centremarker. This site houses an important collection of historic books and manuscripts, including the oldest extant New Testament document, Rylands Library Papyrus P52, the so-called St John fragment. The Deansgate site has recently (April 2007) reopened to the public, following major improvements and renovations, including the construction of the pitched roof originally intended and a new wing in Spinningfield.

Jodrell Bank Observatory

The 76 m Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory.
The Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics is a combination of the astronomical academic staff, situated in Manchester, and the Jodrell Bank Observatorymarker near Goostreymarker, about ten miles (16 km) west of Macclesfieldmarker. The observatory boasts the third largest fully-movable radio telescope in the world, the Lovell Telescopemarker, constructed in the 1950s. It has played an important role in the research of quasars, pulsars and gravitational lenses, and has played a role in confirming Einstein's theory of General Relativity.

Manchester Museum

The modern entrance of the Manchester Museum
The Manchester Museum provides access to nearly 4.25 million items sourced from around the world. Collections include butterflies and carvings from India, birds and bark-cloth from the Pacific, live frogs and ancient pottery from America, fossils and native art from Australia, mammals and ancient Egyptian craftsmanship from Africa, plants, coins and minerals from Europe, art from past civilisations of the Mediterraneanmarker, and beetles, armour and archery from Asia. In November 2004, the museum acquired a cast of a fossilised Tyrannosaurus rex called "Stan", which was unveiled. Furthermore, a new exhibition was opened at the museum in April 2008, which is set to last for a year, and will display the Lindow Man, which is currently at the British Museummarker in London.

The history of the museum goes back to 1821, when the first collections were assembled by the Manchester Society of Natural History and later added by the collections of the Manchester Geological Society.Due to financial difficulties and on the advice of the great evolutionary biologist Thomas Huxley, Owens College accepted responsibility for the collections in 1867. The college commissioned Alfred Waterhouse, the architect of London’s Natural History Museummarker, to design a museum to house these collections for the benefit of students and the public on a new site in Oxford Road. The Manchester Museum was finally opened to the public in the late 1880s.

Whitworth Art Gallery

The Whitworth Art Gallery
The Whitworth Art Gallery is home to collections of internationally famous British watercolours, textiles and wallpapers, as well as modern and historic prints, drawings, paintings and sculpture. It overall contains 31,000 items in its collection. A programme of temporary exhibitions runs throughout the year, with the Mezzanine Court serving as a venue for showing sculpture.It was founded by Robert Darbishire with a donation from Sir Joseph Whitworth in 1889, as The Whitworth Institute and Park. 70 years later the gallery became official part of the University of Manchester. In October 1995 a Mezzanine Court in the centre of the building was opened. This new gallery, designed chiefly for the display of sculptures, won a RIBA regional award.

Manchester University Press

Manchester University Press is an academic publishing house which exists as part of the university. It publishes academic monographs as well as textbooks and journals, the majority of which are works from authors based elsewhere in the international academic community, and is the third largest university press in England after Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.

Contact Theatre

The Contact Theatre largely stages modern live performance and participatory work for younger audiences. The present fortress-style building on Devas Street was completed in 1999 but incorporates parts of its 1960s predecessor. It features a unique energy-efficient system, using its high towers to naturally ventilate the building without the use of air conditioning. The colourful and curvaceous interior houses three performance spaces, a lounge bar and Hot Air, a reactive public artwork in the foyer.

Old Quadrangle

The buildings around the Old Quadrangle date from the time of Owens College, and were designed in a Gothic style by Alfred Waterhouse (and his son Paul Waterhouse). The first to be built (in 1873) was the John Owens Building (formerly the Main Building: the others were added over the next thirty years. In fact, the Rear Quadrangle is older than the Old Quadrangle. Today, the museummarker continues to occupy part of one side (including the tower) and the grand setting of the Whitworth Hallmarker is used for the conferment of degrees. Part of the old Christie Library (1898) now houses Christie's Bistro, and the remainder of the buildings house administrative departments.

Chancellors Hotel and Conference Centre

Chancellors Hotel & Conference Centre
Formerly named The Firs, the original house was built in 1850 for Sir Joseph Whitworth by Edward Walters, who was also responsible for Manchester’s Free Trade Hallmarker and Strangeways Prison. Whitworth used The Firs mainly as a social, political and business base, entertaining radicals of the age such as John Bright, Richard Cobden, William Forster and T.H. Huxley at the time of the Reform Bill of 1867. Whitworth, credited with raising the art of machine-tool building to a previously-unknown level, supported the new Mechanics Institute in Manchester – the birthplace of UMIST - and helped to found the Manchester School of Design. Whilst living in the house, Whitworth used land to the rear (now the site of the University's botanical glasshouses) for testing his "Whitworth rifle". In 1882, the Firs was leased to C.P. Scott, Editor of the Manchester Guardian. After Scott's death the house became the property of Owens College, and was the Vice-Chancellor's residence until 1991.The old house now forms the western wing of Chancellors Hotel & Conference Centre at the University. The newer eastern wing houses the circular Flowers Theatre, six individual conference rooms and the majority of the 75 hotel bedrooms.

Moreover, the University owns and operate the Manchester Conference Centre on Sackville Streetmarker that offers conference facilities in its two theatres (seating up to 300) and 19 seminar rooms.

Residential campuses

Ashburne Hall is a catered accommodation offered to mainly undergraduate students, though some places are reserved for postgraduate students
Prior to merging, the two former universities had for some time been sharing their residential facilities.

The Sackville Street Campus is the former UMIST Campus, comprising five halls of residence central to the Sackville Streetmarker building (Weston, Lambert, Fairfield, Chandos, and Wright Robinson), and several other halls within a 5-15 minute walk away, such as the Grosvenor group of halls. Whitworth park halls of residence are on the southern edge of the Oxford Road Campus which also includes a few smaller blocks of accommodation: the former Moberly Tower is now vacant.

The Fallowfield Campus, situated 2 miles (3.2 km) south of the main university campus (the Oxford Road Campus), is the largest of the university's residential campuses. The Owens Parkmarker group of halls with its landmark tower lies at the centre of it, while Oak Housemarker is another large hall of residence. Woolton Hall is also on the Fallowfield campus next to Oak House. Allen Hallmarker is a traditional hall situated near Ashburne Hall (Sheavyn House being annexed to Ashburne). Richmond Park is also a relatively recent addition to the campus.

Victoria Parkmarker Campus, situated between Fallowfield and the Oxford Road Campus, just off Wilmslow Road in Rusholmemarker, comprises several halls of residence. Among these are St Anselm Hall with Canterbury Court, Dalton-Ellis Hallmarker (with Pankhurst Court), Hulme Hallmarker (including Burkhardt House), St Gabriel's Hallmarker and Opal Gardens Hall.

Clubs and societies

See also: University of Manchester Students' Union: Societies
The University's Boat Club is one of many Athletic Union Clubs that Manchester offers [12558]

Athletics and outdoor games

Unlike some universities The University of Manchester operates its own sports clubs via the Athletics Union. Student societies on the other hand are operated by the Students' Union.

Today the university can boast more than 80 health and fitness classes while over 3,000 students are members of the 44 various Athletic Union clubs. The sports societies in Manchester vary widely in their level and scope. Many of the more popular sports have several university teams as well as departmental teams which may be placed in a league against other teams within the university. Common teams include: lacrosse, korfball, dodgeball, hockey, rugby league, rugby union, football, basketball, netball and cricket. The Manchester Aquatics Centremarker, the swimming pool used for the Manchester Commonwealth Games is also on the campus.

The university competes annually in 28 different sports against Leedsmarker and Liverpoolmarker universities in the Christie Cup, which Manchester has won for five consecutive years. The university has also achieved considerable success in the BUCS (British University & College Sports) competitions. It is currently positioned in 10th place in the overall BUSA rankings for 2007/08 The Christie Cup is an inter-university competition between Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester in numerous sports since 1886. After the Oxford and Cambridge rivalry, the Christie's Championships is the oldest Inter–University competition on the sporting calendar: the cup was a benefaction of Richard Copley Christie.

Every year elite sportsmen and sportswomen at the university are selected for membership of the XXI Club, a society that was formed in 1932 and exists to promote sporting excellence at the university. Most members have gained a Full Maroon for representing the university and many have excelled at a British Universities or National level.

Political activity and performing arts

Manchester also has a reputation for producing many active members of the Labour Party. Former students have included Phil Woolas, John Mann, Margaret Beckett and Liam Byrne.

Between 2006 and 2009 Manchester was winner or runner-up for 3 out of 4 seasons of University Challenge.

In addition to this the university is also the home of MUWO (Manchester University Wind Orchestra), a large wind orchestra whose members include present students, alumni and other wind players in the Manchester area. The band were awarded Gold at the National Concert Band Festival at The Sage Gatesheadmarker in 2007 and again at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2009.

NHS hospitals

Old Medical School on Coupland Street (photographed in 1908), which now houses the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
The Manchester Medical Schoolmarker, established in 1874, is one of the largest in the country, with over 400 medical students being trained in each of the clinical years and over 350 students in the pre-clinical/phase 1 years. Approximately 100 students who have completed pre-clinical training at the Bute Medical School (University of St Andrewsmarker) join the third year of the undergraduate medical programme each year.

The university's Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences has links with a large number of NHS hospitals in the North West of England and maintains presences in its four base hospitals: Manchester Royal Infirmarymarker (located at the southern end of the main university campus on Oxford Road), Wythenshawe Hospitalmarker, Hope Hospitalmarker and the Royal Preston Hospital. All are used for clinical medical training for doctors and nurses.

The School of Pharmacy at Manchester University also benefits from the university's links with the Manchester Royal Infirmary and Wythenshawe and Hope hospitals. All of the undergraduate pharmacy students gain hospital experience through these links and are the only pharmacy students in the UK to have an extensive course completed in secondary care.

Moreover, the university is a founding partner of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centremarker, established to focus high-end healthcare research in Greater Manchester.

Notable academic staff and alumni

Many notable and famous people have worked or studied at one or both of the two former institutions that merged to form the University of Manchester, including 23 Nobel prize laureates. Some of the best known include John Dalton (founder of modern atomic theory), George E. Davis (founded the discipline of Chemical Engineering), Bernard Lovell (a pioneer of radio astronomy), Alan Turing (one of the founders of computer science and artificial intelligence), Irene Khan (current secretary general of Amnesty International) and Robert Bolt (two times Academy Award winner and three times Golden Globe winner for screenwriting Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago). Additionally, a number of politicians are associated with the university, including the current Presidents of Belizemarker, Icelandmarker and Trinidad and Tobagomarker, as well as several ministers among others in the United Kingdom, Malaysiamarker, Canada and Singaporemarker and also Chaim Weizmann, a chemist and the first President of Israelmarker.

Nobel prize winners

Overall, there have been 23 Nobel Prizes awarded to staff and students past and present, with some of the most important discoveries of the modern ages being discovered in Manchester.

  • Ernest Rutherford (awarded Nobel prize in 1908), for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements and the chemistry of radioactive substances (He was the first to probe the atom).
  • Arthur Harden (awarded Nobel prize in 1929), for investigations on the fermentation of sugar and fermentative enzymes.
  • Walter Haworth (awarded Nobel prize in 1937), for his investigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C.
  • Robert Robinson (awarded Nobel prize in 1947), for his investigations on plant products of biological importance, especially the alkaloids.
  • Alexander Todd (awarded Nobel prize in 1957), for his work on nucleotides and nucleotide co-enzymes.
  • Melvin Calvin (awarded Nobel prize in 1961), for his research on the carbon dioxide assimilation in plants.
  • John Charles Polanyi (awarded Nobel prize in 1986), for his contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes.
  • Michael Smith (awarded Nobel prize in 1993), for his fundamental contributions to the establishment of oligonucleotide-based, site-directed mutagenesis and its development for protein studies.

  • Joseph John Thomson (awarded Nobel prize in 1906), in recognition of the great merits of his theoretical and experimental investigations on the conduction of electricity by gases.
  • William Lawrence Bragg (awarded Nobel prize in 1915), for his services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays.
  • Niels Bohr (awarded Nobel prize in 1922), for his fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics.
  • Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (awarded Nobel prize in 1927), for his method of making the paths of electrically charged particles visible by condensation of vapour.
  • James Chadwick (awarded Nobel prize in 1935), for the discovery of the neutron.
  • George de Hevesy (awarded Nobel prize in 1943), for his work on the use of isotopes as tracers in the study of chemical processes.
  • Patrick M. Blackett (awarded Nobel prize in 1948), for developing cloud chamber and confirming/discovering positron.
  • Sir John Douglas Cockcroft (awarded Nobel prize in 1951), for his pioneer work on the splitting of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles and also for his contribution to modern nuclear power.
  • Hans Bethe (awarded Nobel prize in 1967), for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars.
  • Nevill Francis Mott (awarded Nobel prize in 1977), for his fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems.

Physiology and Medicine
  • Archibald Vivian Hill (awarded Nobel prize in 1922), for his discovery relating to the production of heat in the muscle. One of the founders of the diverse disciplines of biophysics and operations research.
  • Sir John Sulston (awarded Nobel prize in 2002), for his discoveries concerning 'genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death'. In 2007, Sulston was announced as Chair of the newly-founded Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation ( iSEI) at the University of Manchester.

  • John Hicks (awarded Nobel prize in 1974), for his pioneering contributions to general economic equilibrium theory and welfare theory.
  • Sir Arthur Lewis (awarded Nobel prize in 1979), for his pioneering research into economic development research with particular consideration of the problems of developing countries.
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz (awarded Nobel prize in 2001), for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information. Currently, Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz heads the Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI) at the University of Manchester.

See also


External links

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