W100 Annual Conference 2019: Manchester, UK

A Reputation for Relevance – Universities Engaging with Society

The World 100 Reputation Network Conference is the key annual opportunity for highly ranked universities - both members and non-members - to share reputational achievements.

The W100 Annual Conference 2019 took place at The University of Manchester in Manchester, UK, from 9 - 11 September. Sally Sykes, Director of Communications and Marketing, and Alan Ferns, Associate Vice-President of External Relations and Reputation, were our hosts. The conference focused on how universities can build reputation through working with their communities and wider society.

The theme 'A Reputation for Relevance - Universities Engaging with Society' allowed us to explore how universities are building a reputation for working with local communities; how students are prepared for roles as citizens; how we prove higher education is contributing to society.

Conference highlights:

Taking science to the masses
Professor Brian Cox OBE, The University of Manchester | Britain’s most popular cosmologist and Renaissance man takes us behind the scenes of some of his global engagement and the impacts it has had on physics and Manchester. 

Dutch City Innovation Ignition | Rowinda Appelman, Dutch Government | How 19 Dutch cities are driving innovation in education.

Demonstrating impact | Nicky Old, Universities UK | The story and purpose behind #MadeAtUni – a campaign to brings to life the impact of universities on people, lives and communities. 

The Liberty Paradox | Monique Mourits, Utrecht University & Renee Merkx, Leiden University | How should universities respond to freedom of speech challenges in relation to developments in both social media and in politics?

The Civic Challenge | Lord Bob Kerslake, Civic University Commission | What sort of relationship should a university have with its 21st Century City?


Conference Programme

Our speakers

Professor Brian Cox OBE
The University of Manchester

David Estok
University of Toronto

Renee Merkx
Leiden University

Lord Bob Kerslake
Civic Universities Commissions

Johanna Lowe
The University of Sydney

Jonathan Grant
King's College London

Nicky Old
Universities UK

Philippe Beauregard
Concordia University

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell
The University of Manchester

Rowinda Appelman
Dutch Government

Monique Mourits
Utrecht University

Study Tour | 12-13 September 2019

Following the conference in Manchester, a group of W100 members headed across to Belfast for a couple of days at Queen's University Belfast - a prestigious Russell Group UK university which is building a global reputation. Guests heard about the university's unique challenges around research communications, with senior staff leading sessions and in-depth discussions, and there was also a chance to experience the vibrant city of Belfast and its many cultural attractions.

Find out more about 2019's Study Tour>

Members Day | 9 September 2019

Our Manchester hosts put together a fantastic Members’ Day*, with an optional trip to Old Trafford stadium, home of Manchester United, or to the BBC studios in Salford. This was followed by a boat trip along the canal from Salford Quays to Castlefield and a walking tour of the city. The Members’ Day dinner took place in the awe-inspiring Living Worlds gallery at the Manchester Museum.


*Members only - one place per institution

Delegate Fees

Delegate fees include all meals during conference hours, conference materials, and access to copies of digital presentations for internal use. This does not include travel or accommodation.

Members of the World 100 Reputations Network: Free

Additional Network member: 750 GBP

All other delegates: 900 GBP