At a time when every member of our University community, at home and abroad, faces their own challenges, it is more important than ever to celebrate our successes. By living our values of knowledge, wisdom, humanity, courage, academic freedom and pioneering spirit, Manchester students, graduates and alumni continue to make their mark on the world as we approach the University’s bicentenary in 2024.
The last 12 months have seen a great deal of change within our University. We welcomed a new Chancellor, Nazir Afzal OBE, whose work as Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West, along with his dedication to representing some of society’s most vulnerable people, is truly inspiring.
During his installation at our Foundation Day celebrations in 2022, he spoke of his aspiration to be an ambassador for the University and spread the word about all of our amazing work across the globe. We look forward to seeing the impact he will certainly make during his tenure.
Our newly renovated Manchester Museum, part of the £15 million hello future project, saw 50,000 visitors attend during its opening week, including schools and neighbours from local communities. Its co-created galleries, unique collections and interactive shared spaces aim to build a greater understanding between cultures, champion sustainability and bring to life the lived experiences of diverse populations across the world.
This year sees humanitarian charity UK-Med mark three decades of providing vital medical relief in areas of armed conflict or natural disasters. Based in our Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, its ongoing work supporting the people of Ukraine, Turkey and Syria is a great example of our long-lasting commitment to social responsibility. We are also proud to offer a new scholarship to prospective students fleeing armed conflict or persecution, as well as supporting the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) to provide fellowships for prospective staff.
The University continues to be home to groundbreaking research. To name just a few examples, Professor Perdita Barran’s work is set to change the face of Parkinson’s disease diagnostics, Dr Joanne Tippett is reframing the conversation on climate change for the next generation, and three years on, our partnership with the Kenyan government to help uplift healthcare and cancer treatment across the country is going from strength to strength.
In June, we celebrated the University’s results in the latest Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. I am delighted that we are number one in Europe and number two in the world for our social and environmental impact towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We remain the only university in the world to rank in the top ten every year since rankings began.
Our students, both past and present, contribute to many aspects of society, including the business world. Whether it be the recent winners of our Bright Ideas competition looking to make their mark, or established entrepreneurs creating transformative technology, the University’s pioneering spirit extends far beyond its physical walls.
And finally, the search for my successor has begun as I will complete my term as President and Vice-Chancellor in summer 2024. With no loss of momentum, I look forward to taking our University into its 200th year as we continue to build on our success to date. Together, we will celebrate the inspiring education, brilliant discoveries and social impact that has changed the modern world.