20 Sep 2018

Victoria University name change in sight despite opposition

12:33 pm on 20 September 2018

Victoria University is one step closer to having its name changed to the University of Wellington, despite strong opposition.

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Victoria University will make its decision on changing its name to University of Wellington next week. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Victoria University vice-chancellor Grant Guilford has recommended the name change to the university's council.

It will make its decision at a meeting on Monday.

Mr Guilford told Morning Report he wanted the name to change, but he would not second guess the council's decision.

The name needed to change so it would align better with Wellington city, as the connection between the two was lost, he said.

Mr Guilford said it was also so the university would have a decent good global brand, helping it recruit good staff and students and access research grants.

More than 2000 people submitted, and Mr Guilford said overall 75 percent were against change.

"Our alumni were very strongly against, about 75 or perhaps 80 percent from memory, our staff were for about 55 percent in favour," he said.

"We only got a very small amount of students submit, about 180 students submitted and they were against, as well."

"The fourth group, the stockholder group, is all of our regional mayors all in favour, all of our advisory board members or at least 85 percent of them in favour and so it's those people who are close the university and understand where we sit that strongly support the direction of travel that we are in."

Mr Guilford said the submissions had been carefully looked at and it was clear the name had strong significance, but in the end it had to be about the university's future, and being distinctive in the world.