Welcome to our bicentenary

A message from our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, as we welcome in 2024 – and 200 years of The University of Manchester.

Here we are at the start of a new year, 2024. A very special moment for us at The University of Manchester, as we mark our bicentenary.

A year to celebrate 200 years of learning, innovation and research. 200 years of our incredible people and community. 200 years of global influence.

A time to reflect on the past. A time to recognise our key discoveries, pioneering ideas and world firsts. And a time to look forward to what our third century could bring, with our commitment to social responsibility underpinning all that we do.

This special year is packed with opportunities and events for everyone – staff, students, alumni, residents and our wider, global community. After all, it’s all of you who make us what we are, and we want everyone to feel involved.

Here is a glimpse of what you can look forward to:

  • We begin the year with our Light Up event on 17 January, when a pathway of light will illuminate buildings on campus and beyond in our signature colour, purple. The Manchester Museum will be open late, showcasing an evening of poetry, music, hands-on experiences and after-hours tours.
  • In February we will launch our bicentenary lecture podcast series, with special guests discussing subjects to which we as a University are committed, and through which we continue making a difference, such as health, the environment, community and, of course, education.
  • In the summer we will host our flagship event – Universally Manchester Festival, a special festival of ideas, performance and community, running from 6 to 9 June. Offering a dynamic, inclusive and engaging programme, with a focus on creating a greener, fairer and healthier world. It’s an opportunity to reflect on our history and explore what makes us ‘Manchester’ today.
  • In the autumn we are delighted to be hosting the prestigious THE World Academic Summit. From 7 to 9 October we will be welcoming 500 global leaders in higher education to our wonderful campus and city.

I hope that you find a way to be involved with our bicentenary celebrations across the year. Whether that's delivering an activity on campus, running the special bicentenary Purple Wave, listening to a podcast or watching events online, everyone who takes part in our bicentenary is part of the same universal team: Team 200.

For two centuries, we have collaborated, encouraged and inspired each other to make an impact on an international stage. And we carry on doing it as we enter our third century.

With my warmest regards for the year ahead,