The Victoria University of Manchester (commonly known as the University of Manchester) was a university in Manchester, England. On 1 October 2004 it merged with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) to form a new entity, "The University of Manchester".
The University was founded in 1851 as Owens College, named after John Owens), a textile merchant, who left a bequest of £96,942 for the purpose. It moved to its current location in 1873, in a building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse. It was granted its Royal Charter in 1880, becoming the first institution of the federal Victoria University. In 1884, University College Liverpool joined the University, followed in 1887 by the Yorkshire College in Leeds.
In 1903, the college in Liverpool left the Victoria University to become the independent University of Liverpool and Leeds followed in 1904 to become the University of Leeds. The remaining Manchester site was renamed Victoria University of Manchester.
The University had over 18,000 full-time students (including 2500 international students from more than 120 countries) by the time it merged with UMIST. It was one of the top universities in the country, regularly getting top ratings for research.
On 5 March 2003 it was announced that the University was to merge with UMIST on 1 October 2004, to form the largest conventional university in the UK, the University of Manchester, both the Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST then ceasing to exist.
Many famous people worked and studied at the Victoria University of Manchester: see People associated with the University of Manchester.