Foundation Day

The University of Manchester in its current form was created in 2004 by the amalgamation of the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). We mark this occasion every October by celebrating our Foundation Day.

The event includes a ceremony at which we confer honorary degrees on recipients from a range of fields in recognition of their achievements. This year’s recipients were Amani Abou-Zeid, Edward Astle and Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Celebrations this year were particularly special as they also included the installation of our new Chancellor, Nazir Afzal OBE.

Foundation Day 2022: Together, we make an impact

Stream our new film, Foundation Day 2022: Together, we make an impact, which captures life at the University and reflects the efforts of our entire community in making an impact.

The year in review

Over the year, notwithstanding challenging external circumstances, we continued to make great progress against the ambitions outlined in Our future, the University’s strategic plan, and achieved many successes that reflect our core goals and themes.

Social responsibility

Over a decade ago we became the first British university to set social responsibility as a core goal. We are number one in the UK and Europe, and number two in the world for action taken towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings).

We are committed to providing support for conflict and humanitarian disasters, and this year Russia’s actions in Ukraine brought devastation and threatened the safety and wellbeing of citizens across the globe.

We moved quickly to evacuate staff and students in affected areas and put new conflict support measures in place, which have been extended to help others impacted by global crises. A £5 million fund has been established to provide scholarships to students and fellowships to academics from countries experiencing armed conflict.


In May we celebrated the results of the Research Excellence Framework – a UK-wide assessment of university research performance. Overall, 93% of our research activity was assessed as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

The University’s researchers continued their work to solve the most pressing problems facing our planet. A selection of 22 case studies – highlighting some of the best and brightest of our research efforts – are illustrated in our research impact showcase.

Teaching and learning

Our research-enhanced approach to teaching and learning excellence continues to create life-changing student experiences to develop the global leaders of tomorrow.

The quality of our teaching has been acknowledged externally, with University academics recognised for their outstanding contributions to teaching – and two named 2022 National Teaching Fellows by Advance HE.

We continue, also, to push forward with our commitment to lifelong and flexible learning.

This approach will provide a greater degree of choice over how students learn and will help prepare graduates for work in an increasingly digital world.

We have engaged extensively with students and colleagues to develop our Flexible Learning Strategy (to be published later this year) and co-create plans that will enable, rather than enforce, change.

Global influence

We have maintained our reputation as one of the world’s leading universities, ranking 28th in the world and sixth in the UK in the QS World University Rankings.

In the Academic Ranking of World Universities we also rank sixth in the UK.

Civic engagement

Closer to home, we continue to lead and join initiatives that target our region’s most pressing challenges – helping to build an even Greater Manchester.

This includes the completion of our joint venture with Bruntwood SciTech and Legal and General to establish ID Manchester, the new innovation district that will transform our North Campus and play a vital role in the future of the UK science and technology sector.

Our people, our values

Our people are at the heart of all we do, and it is thanks to their passion, professionalism and commitment that we have achieved so much in the past academic year.

We continue to deliver change that is both responsible and sustainable. This includes the launch of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and People Strategies, which have been developed in extensive consultation with colleagues and will help to reaffirm our position as an attractive place to work and study.

Wellbeing remains a priority, with an extensive mental health and financial support provision in place to help students and staff realise their potential – particularly in such challenging times and with the impact of a rising cost of living.