The University of Manchester has been named the fifth best institution in the UK this year.

According to the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities, the Russell Group University has moved up a place from 2019 and now ranks 36th globally.

Named alongside it in the UK top five were Cambridge, Oxford, UCL and Imperial College London.

The ranking system uses six different indicators, such as the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, highly cited researchers and articles published in prominent academic journals.

Launched in 2003 and published annually by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, the ARWU ranks more than 1,200 universities, publishing the top 500 every year.

The news comes on the cusp of a turbulent admissions year for England’s universities following a U-turn from the government on A-level results on Monday afternoon.

Manchester University has been ranked one of the UK's top five universities I Love Manchester
Parrs Wood Sixth Form College pupils celebrate their 2020 Coronavirus predicted A level success. Pictured: Maisah Madeem, 18, from Wythenshawe, wants to be a pharmacist and secured her place at University of Manchester to study Pharmacy

Prior to this, nearly 40% of students A-level grades had been downgraded after exams regulator Ofqual used a controversial algorithm based on factors including postcodes, socio-economic backgrounds, and schools’ previous results.

Whilst the decision to award A-level and GCSE students their teacher-predicted grades has been welcomed by teachers and pupils alike, unfortunately, some students will still miss out on their university places this year in cases where courses have already been filled.

It’s also been noted that the last-minute decision will cause a headache for universities, whose normal admission rounds last for months but this year has seen the rules changed just a few weeks before the start of the semester.

Following last night’s announcement, the University of Manchester is currently busy trying to help enrol as many students as it can.

A spokesperson said: “The situation concerning awarded grades for qualifications is moving at pace.

“We’re seeking to respond flexibly and sympathetically to applicants and are seeking to ensure those who have the ability to flourish with us can do so and are not disadvantaged.”

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