2022: Our University in Review | StaffNet

2022: Our University in Review | StaffNet

December 21, 2022

At the end of the year we look back on achievements, memories and more around our university

2022: Our university in retrospect

It’s been another momentous year at our university, and as the year draws to a close, we celebrate the achievements, events and more that happened in 2022. This year’s recap, compiled by our media relations team, provides an in-depth look at our amazing work and highlights.

Goodbye and welcome

We bid farewell to poet, writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay OBE as our Chancellor and welcomed former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England Nazir Afzal OBE. Lemn’s great association with our university continues as an honorary professor of creative writing.

We also welcomed our new Chief Financial Officer, Carol Prokopyszyn, who joined us in June 2022, and PJ Hemmaway as our new Director of IT Services in July 2022.

A research powerhouse

This year’s results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirm our university as a research center. We retained fifth place, with 93% of research rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”. Thanks to all the colleagues who worked so hard on our submissions.

Our research made headlines again that year and one ‘colossal’ story that made national and international headlines was the discovery of Britain’s largest marine reptile in Rutland. We announced a new center for robotics and AI, while an existing robot called Lyra helped improve the safety and efficiency of decommissioning a nuclear reactor. Developed by Professor Barry Lennox and his team, it was named one of TIME magazine’s Inventions of the Year.

One of our biggest research stories of the year was the trial development of a new 3-minute swab test for diagnosing Parkinson’s disease with the help of “super-smeller” Joy Milne. Joy’s unique talent allows her to discriminate Parkinson’s disease in people before symptoms appear, a rare talent harnessed by researchers.

The ongoing work of our scientists to show the devastating plight of microplastics in UK rivers has been hugely influential, helping to advance investigations into water company behavior and the role of regulators in tackling illegal activity.

support of Ukraine

As world attention fell on Ukraine, colleagues from our International Programs Office (IPO) worked to help students return to the UK. The humanitarian charity UK-Med, which was set up at our university, launched a call for support for their emergency medical teams, with support from the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham. One of our own colleagues also cycled 1400km across the Netherlands to raise funds for UK-Med.

Our university has partnered with Ivan Horbachevsky Ternopil National Medical University (TNMU) in western Ukraine to support medical students whose studies were disrupted by the conflict with Russia. The aim of the funding is to stabilize the pipeline of urgently needed junior staff.

Social responsibility

We have announced the end of investments in coal, oil and gas as part of our socially responsible investment policy and have also been recognized as one of the world’s leading universities for sustainable development action.

We have published preliminary findings on historical links with slavery involving a number of early benefactors from institutions that preceded what later became the University of Manchester. We continue to support Manchester City Council’s own inquiries into the city’s past as part of a wider engagement on the issue.

founding day

The focus of this year’s launch day was the inauguration of our new Chancellor and former Chief Public Prosecutor for North West England, Nazir Afzal OBE. Honorary degrees were presented to our outgoing Chairman of the Board of Governors, Edward Astle, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, alumna and African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation, and actress, writer, theater producer and activist Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Our cultural institutions

More than 200 guests from music and visual arts attended the opening of the British Pop Archive and the accompanying exhibition Collection. Dedicated to the preservation and study of pop culture and housed at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library, the archive contains iconic items from Manchester’s pop culture scene.

Our popular museum will reopen in February 2023. A two-story addition has increased its footprint by 25% and extensive remodeling of existing spaces has been undertaken.

bluedot returned to Jodrell Bank with legendary artist Björk headlining and performing during an orchestral audiovisual show.

And congratulations to the Whitworth for being selected as one of only 15 arts institutions worldwide to receive one of the Getty Foundation’s 2022 Paper Project Grants.

teaching and learning

Our summer graduation ceremonies were held in person for the first time since 2019, coinciding with some of the hottest and record-breaking temperatures on record in the UK. A big thank you to our colleagues who supported the graduation and worked tirelessly to make it a memorable occasion. Students who complete their courses join our community of more than 500,000 alumni – one of the largest universities in the world.

After a busy August confirmation and clarification, we welcomed new and returning students to campus for the new academic year. Welcome ran for two weeks in September, and colleagues, students, student ambassadors, student representatives and many others contributed to two weeks of successful activities and helped provide a memorable and exciting experience for the new students arriving in Manchester.

We launched our Flexible Learning Strategy, which charts our direction towards more flexibility in pace, location, path and practice, giving our students more control over how they learn and more support for staff to create inclusive, accessible and international learning that works across delivery modes.

Thoughts on Queen Elizabeth II

Following the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Nancy Rothwell said: “Her Majesty holds a special place in the history and affection of our University, having presented the University with the Royal Charter in 2004.”

Our university has been honored several times by visits from Queen Elizabeth and then Prince Charles. We have compiled a selection of photos and videos from our archives to celebrate these visits as our community mourned the death of the Queen and welcomed the accession of the new King.

establish international relations

We celebrated the first anniversary of our alliance with the Universities of Melbourne and Toronto, which provide teaching and research on some of the world’s most pressing challenges. We have announced an ambitious partnership with Khalifa University of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, aiming to give graphene innovation a funding boost. And a high-level delegation visited India, where a new joint doctoral program was launched with IISc Bangalore, a first for a UK higher education institution.

We look forward to 2023

All of this would not be possible without our exceptional staff and students. Thank you to everyone in our community who contributed to this impressive list of achievements. We wish you a relaxing break and look forward to seeing you again in 2023.

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