Alan Ferns

W100 Representative

Alan FernsAssociate 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 managed 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.

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.

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Virtuosity for the enduringbenefit of mankind

The University of Manchester is a truly global institution, with a reputation for education and innovation that resonates across the world.

The university has strategic partnerships and collaborations worldwide. We bring innovation to businesses, insight to institutions and create an unforgettable experience to those who study with us.

The University of Manchester forges pioneering collaborations with organisations and institutions around the world.

We work with businesses, universities, policymakers and more to bring the benefits of our expertise to industry and society.

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

Mission and vision

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

Ranked in the top 1% of world universities




Annual research income

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.

Become a Member

The World 100 Reputation Network is a group of the best universities in the world, delivering research that enhances reputation and offering leaders the chance to develop their own careers on a global stage. Members benefit from events and study tours, training, monthly media monitoring, and unique reputation research to provide institutional advantage.

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