Two brand new universities were formed in Greater Manchester in 2004, one with a significantly longer history than the other.
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In Manchester, the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, both of whom boasted histories back as far as the Victorian era, came together to form the University of Manchester.
The merger formed the UK's largest single site university, a seat of learning for around 40,000 students and an institute considered so highly in terms of research power, that only Oxford and Cambridge can rival it.
That is far from the University's only claim - it also teaches more courses than any other institute and has the largest total income of any UK university.
In the same year, north of Manchester, Bolton Institute of Higher Education became the University of Bolton.
While it is considerably smaller than its Mancunian counterpart, with around 8000 students, it has become the UK's fastest growing institute, even going so far as to found a campus in the United Arab Emirates in 2008.