Victoria University of Wellington is considering dropping the 'Victoria' from its name to avoid confusion with other institutions.
The university said it was not getting the international recognition it deserved because there were so many other Victoria Universities or universities of Victoria around the world.
It said the relatively high number of universities with a similar name was causing confusion and meant the university's achievements could be wrongly attributed to other institutions.
The university could be renamed University of Wellington instead.
Vice-chancellor Grant Guilford said there were so many other institutions with a similar name that students and researchers overseas were getting confused.
"We worked out the 'Victoria' element of our name is not distinctive on the world stage," Mr Guilford said.
"Our work is regularly attributed to other universities bearing that name - there's about six other Victoria Universities in the world."
The university would consult with staff and students and a decision was expected by the end of the year, Mr Guilford said.