Manchester smashes the “Golden Triangle” for research

18 Dec 2008

The University of Manchester has smashed the “Golden Triangle” of research universities traditionally dominated by Oxford, Cambridge and London, according to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, published today.

The University of Manchester main building
The University of Manchester main building

Based on any analysis of today’s results, Manchester emerges amongst the country’s top four or five major research universities and is proving competitive with the University College London and Imperial College and just behind Oxford and Cambridge.

65% of research activity at The University of Manchester is judged to be “world-leading” (4*) or “internationally excellent” (3*), amounting to 1,193 full-time equivalent research staff.

Professor Alan Gilbert, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “These results vindicate the decision to merge UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester in 2004 and justifies our massive investment in new staff and facilities since then.

“We were committed to step change transformation and we had thought that this RAE may have come a little too early to demonstrate the impact of that change. But we were wrong. The evidence is now there for all to see – in terms of both Research Quality and Research Power (Quality x Volume), there is no longer a “Golden Triangle” in British Higher education research.”

The results show an outstanding performance by The University of Manchester, confirming its position as a genuine international powerhouse, with exceptional performances in a wide range of disciplines, including Cancer Studies, Nursing, Biology, Dentistry, Engineering, Sociology, Development Studies and Music and Drama.

Manchester is now one of only a handful of UK universities with an internationally significant research profile over a very wide range of subjects. The scale and diversity of our submission confirms Manchester’s status as a genuine research powerhouse.

The University of Manchester submitted research in 53 Units of Assessment, more than any other university in the UK.

Professor Alan Gilbert also said: “The very best international teaching and learning universities are great research institutions, so the excellence in research demonstrated in the RAE is good news for our students.”

In the past four years, The University of Manchester has achieved a net growth of close to 1,000 new researchers and invested more than £403 million in new and refurbished facilities.

Research quality is assessed every few years through the Research Assessment Exercise to allocate research funding and to provide information on the quality of the research in UK universities.

Research Assessment Exercise results and information

Notes for editors

Jon Keighren
Media Relations Manager
University of Manchester
0161 275 8385
07917 211537