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President's weekly update

1 June 2023

Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings – No 1 in UK, No 1 in Europe and No 2 in the World

Given the importance of social responsibility to the University, as one of our three core goals, I am thrilled by the results of the latest THE Impact Rankings for global universities based on the 17 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. Announced today, we came first in the UK and Europe and second in the world amongst 1,705 universities which were assessed, and are the only university to come in the top ten every year since the assessment started.

These Impact Rankings cover the social and environmental contribution of universities across their full range of functions through their research, their students, their public engagement and their operations. Simply put, this assessment says a great deal about the positive impact that our University makes and we’re proud to be part of this ever-growing community of universities around the world leading work to a make a difference.

Board of Governors

Our Board of Governors’ meeting, held the day after the Strategy Day, approved our Environmental Sustainability strategy, which will be launched shortly. We also heard updates on our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) plans and work on our fundraising campaign, which will be formally launched towards the end of 2024.

I also spent time with candidates for the important role of new lay Board members to explain the University, its ambitions and some of the challenges we face in meeting them. We have a very impressive group of candidates who are interested in joining our Board.

Meeting with Heads of Departments in Humanities

I met about 20 Heads in the Faculty of Humanities. The discussion inevitably focused on the marking and assessment boycott by UCU, potential mitigations and the impact on students. Most Heads of departments did not know how big the impact would be, but are receiving a lot of concerns from students. We also talked about the effect of inflation on students and their wellbeing (you can find out what steps we’ve taken to help students on StaffNet), concerns about student absences and concerns about the impact of the government preventing PGT students from bringing dependents to the UK. In a discussion about our bicentenary next year, I learnt that Anthropology in Manchester will be 75 years old next year and they are planning major activities with our local communities.

Innovation Greater Manchester

At the Board meeting of Innovation Greater Manchester, we agreed the future structure, membership and governance of the organisation. It will be largely industry-led and will support innovative activities and growing income across the region.

Furthering international partnerships – a focus on Egypt

Colleagues from the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and I met senior staff from Alexandria University in Egypt and the Egyptian Ambassador to the UK to sign an agreement on medical and dental degrees and discuss other potential collaborations. They have strong links with other parts of Africa which are very important to us.

UK Biobank will move to Manchester

UK Biobank, the world’s most significant source of data and biological samples for health researchers has been awarded £128million from UKRI to move to a new purpose-built facility on Manchester Science Park adjacent to the University. I sit on the Biobank Board but of course have been declared a conflict on their move which was instigated before I joined.

Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor