Man united hits home straight

August 1, 2003

The final countdown to the dissolution of Manchester University and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology began this week following approval from both governing courts to create a single university.

The merged institution will be Britain's biggest university, with an estimated 34,000 students.

A consultation of all the staff, students and graduates of both institutions opted for "The University of Manchester" as the preferred title.

The name will now be included in the petition to the Queen and the Privy Council requesting the granting of a new royal charter.

The merger talks began 16 months ago and have followed a tight timetable.

Alan Gilbert, vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne, was named last week as the vice-chancellor of the new institution - he will take up the post in February 2004.

Up to £65 million of extra funding has been secured by the two universities, subject to agreed plans, to contribute to the establishment of the single university. On top of funds from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Office of Science and Technology and the North West Development Agency, a further £17 million will be found from the Science Research Investment Fund.

Sir Martin Harris, outgoing vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester, said he was pleased to come to the end of the chapter.

John Garside, outgoing vice-chancellor of Umist, said the new name would stand the test of time.

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