The University of Manchester

Posted on Feb 4, 2015

The World100 Representative

Alan Ferns - Associate Vice-President for External Relations and Reputation

Alan Ferns is Associate Vice-President for External Relations and Reputation at The University of Manchester, the UK’s biggest and most popular university. He is responsible for providing co-ordination, leadership and strategic direction for a wide range of external relations and reputation building activities and functions.

Prior to taking up his current role in January 2017, Alan was Director of Communication and Marketing at The University of Manchester where he manages the award-winning central communications and marketing team. He also provided the strategy and leadership for a wider community of communication and marketing professional across the University responsible for delivering communications and engagement activity for 40,000 students, 11,000 staff and 350,000 alumni.

Alan and his team delivered all of the communications surrounding the successful Manchester “merger” of 2004 and built the brand that has transformed the global reputation of The University of Manchester since then, He has worked in the field of University communications since 1983 at the Universities of Lancaster, Salford and Manchester.

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Key facts about University of Manchester

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Research member since 2007

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Research member since 2007

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International (out of continent) numbers: 7,009

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Current academic staff include Nobel Laureates John Sulston FRS (Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation) and Joseph Stiglitz (Brooks World Poverty Institute)

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University of Manchester's Mission & Vision

To make The University of Manchester one of the top 25 universities in the world by 2015 and to remain thereafter a world-leader in the quality of the higher education we offer, the excellence and impact of the research we undertake and the value of the contributions we make to the economic, social and cultural life and environmental sustainability of the wider society.

Our vision is of The University of Manchester as a world-renowned institution harnessing virtuosity for the enduring benefit of mankind:

  • A people-centred institution
  • A research-led institution
  • An innovative institution
  • A learning institution
  • A meritocratic institution
  • A socially responsible institution
  • A Manchester institution

About University of Manchester

The University has an exceptional record of generating and sharing new ideas and the quality, breadth and volume of its research activity is unparalleled in the UK.

The University is built on the shoulders of academic giants and can lay claim to 23 Nobel Prize winners amongst its former staff and students.

We are committed to providing a dynamic working and learning environment, where every member of our community is valued for their contribution and individuality.

International Partnerships

The University of Manchester has signed agreements with the following top, research-led, universities:

  • Tsinghua University , China
  • Fudan University , China
  • Seoul National University , Korea
  • Kyoto University , Japan
  • National University of Singapore
  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India

Notable Research Areas

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 65% of research activity, amounting to 1,193 full-time equivalent staff at The University of Manchester, is judged to be 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*), putting us among only a handful of universities with an internationally significant research profile over a wide range of subject areas. The University of Manchester is one of the top universities for biomedical research, and our international centres exploring cancer research, world poverty, environmental sustainability and social change are producing world-changing answers to global problems.

Most significant research breakthrough

The discovery of graphene by Prof Andre Geim FRS. This super-thin two-dimensional material (consisting of a single layer of individual, densely packed carbon atoms woven into one stable layer like a wire mesh) has the potential to replace silicon transistors in the not too distant future.

Prof Geim and Manchester researcher Dr Kostya Novoselov have received the prestigious Europhysics Prize, and Prof Geim was recently awarded the 2009 Körber European Science Award, worth 750,000 Euros.