The University of Manchester Celebrates 200 Years of Educational Excellence Worldwide

ByAfif Azhar

The University of Manchester, a member of the esteemed Russell Group of universities, reached a major historical milestone as it celebrates its bicentenary anniversary. Hosting a series of receptions in five key locations for alumni across the globe, reaffirming their commitment to excellence in research, education, and innovation since its establishment in 1824. Singapore had the honour of serving as the alumni base for South East Asia, with the South East Asia Bicentenary Reception held at The Fullerton Hotel.

The first civic university, and the largest single-site university in the United Kingdom, the institution’s birth was closely linked to Manchester’s development as the world’s first industrial city. The University of Manchester was built with the aim of using research and education to improve people’s lives, boasting a rich history of groundbreaking research, pioneering discoveries, and a commitment to social responsibility. 

This includes working towards a sustainable future, with a core portion of their research dedicated to the curation of solutions to the challenges in developing a sustainable society. As of 2023, the university was ranked first in the United Kingdom and Europe, and second globally for meaningful contributions towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in the 2023 THE University Impact Rankings. This also makes The University of Manchester the only institution in the world to rank in the top 10 every year since the inception of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings in 2018.  

Hosted by Deputy President & Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Luke Georghiou, the evening gathered over 250 distinguished members of the South East Asian global alumni community to honour the institution’s rich heritage and transformative contributions to society.  Distinguished figures graced the occasion, with Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development, a distinguished alumnus of The University of Manchester and an advisor to The University of Manchester Alumni Association of Singapore serving as the Guest of Honour. Adding to the prestigious gathering was the presence of H.E. Alex Bamford, Deputy British High Commissioner, lending further international prominence to the event.

Commenting on the significance of the occasion, Professor Luke Georghiou highlighted, “This year holds immense importance in our institution’s journey – a time to honour our past successes, from pioneering innovations to industry-leading achievements. It’s also an opportunity for reflection, as we draw lessons from our history while charting a course towards a future defined by continued innovation and growth.”

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim also expressed his pleasure at participating in the momentous occasion, stating, “The University of Manchester has played a major role in shaping the minds of numerous prominent figures at various levels of leadership who continue to lead Singapore to new heights. It is an honour to witness the enduring impact of our alma mater over the centuries and to form a part of its rich legacy as it celebrates two centuries of excellence.”

Beyond the evening reception at The Fullerton Hotel, the celebrations will continue well into the rest of the year, with a diverse range of activities lined up to commemorate the University’s bicentennial. From exclusive events and competitions to campus tours and the flagship Universally Manchester Festival in June, students and alumni alike will enjoy ample opportunities to engage in the festivities.

As The University of Manchester looks towards moving to its third century, it remains steadfast in its mission to advance knowledge, foster innovation, and positively impact society. The recent bicentenary celebrations testify to the university’s enduring values and dedication to shaping the future through education and research.

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