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No more “Victoria” for University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington’s Council has agreed to change the tertiary institution’s name to “University of Wellington”, removing the word “Victoria”.

The University Council has voted unanimously in principle to recommend that the Minister of Education approve University of Wellington as the new legal name for the University, as well as adopting a new Māori name of Te Herenga Waka.

The draft decision includes a commitment to the ongoing use of the word Victoria to ensure its heritage is honoured and maintained.

Further and final feedback on the name simplification proposal can be lodged over the next two weeks and the University Council is expected to make a final decision at its 27 August meeting.

University Chacellor Neil Paviour-Smith says the proposed change will allow the university “to better align with the city of Wellington, support our commitment to being a global-civic university and, over time, help improve our international reputation through better clarity and recognition of the University’s name.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says the proposed name simplification is part of a wider programme of work to build the university’s international reputation.

“Building a strong international reputation… is critical to a sustainable future. Like all universities in New Zealand, we are dependent on international staff and students and, at the same time, our staff have an ambition to be ranked among the world’s best universities. To succeed, we must have a distinctive name that stands on its own in the more than 100 countries from which we recruit our staff and students and in which our graduates work.

“There are a number of other tertiary institutions around the world that have Victoria in their name.”

Further and final feedback on the draft decision can be sent to [email protected] or addressed to: The Chancellor, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.

Feedback closes at 5pm Monday 13 August.

Resistance to the move has included a petition being shared using the hashtags #StickWithVic and #KeepVUW.

It is part of an effort to demonstrate that the proposal to remove Victoria from the legal name of the university does not have the required support to proceed.

It is only about keeping the legal name of the university as Victoria University of Wellington, and is not taking a position on the proposal to change the Māori name for the university

The petition has a gaol of 1000 signatures and has reached 636 at time of writing.

More information at change.org, here.