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Last Updated: Friday, 1 October, 2004, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Merged university 'largest in UK'
University of Manchester
The new university claims it will rival Oxbridge colleges
Two Manchester universities have merged to become one of the largest universities in the UK.

The Victoria University of Manchester and the Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) are now known as the University of Manchester.

The new institution will educate 31,000 students and Vice Chancellor Prof Alan Gilbert says it will rival Oxford and Cambridge universities.

The merger will also strengthen both universities' research work.

The government has provided 65m for the changes and a further 17m grant has come from the Science Research Investment Fund.

It will be the largest single site university in the UK and will have more academic subjects and departments than any other UK University.

The university will have an official opening ceremony on 22 October.

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