Name simplification feedback

Victoria University of Wellington would like to thank those who provided feedback on the proposed name simplification for the University.

Victoria University of Wellington says it is considering the decision announced today by the Minister of Education on a proposed change in name to ‘University of Wellington’.

Chancellor Neil Paviour-Smith says University Council members will be considering the letter received from the Minister before any comment is made and before any discussion of next steps.

In September, the University Council recommended to the Minister of Education that University of Wellington be approved as the new legal name for the University, and that a new Māori name of Te Herenga Waka be adopted.

The Council’s decision followed well over a year of research, seeking advice from experts and discussion with staff, students, alumni and stakeholders, including a consultation period during which close to 2,500 submissions were received.

Information about the reasons underpinning the University Council recommendation to change the name can be found on the University’s website.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says that in the meantime, it will be business as usual at the University.

“We have had a very successful 2018 with strong growth in research quality, quantity and impact, and a significant lift in enrolments in response to the high-quality student experience at the University and in Wellington.

“In addition, the passion our alumni feel for their alma mater has been very evident. Overall alumni engagement has increased this year with more alumni attending events, donating and signing up to provide mentoring of current students—support that, now more than ever, is very important to the institution’s future.”

28 June 2018

Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says the University received only a modest number of submissions on the proposal. The feedback deadline has now closed and the University is currently reviewing all submissions received.

The name simplification proposal is in response to a commitment by the University to be more closely aligned with Wellington and to international analysis showing confusion about the University’s name. It would see the word ‘Victoria’ retired from the current name of ‘Victoria University of Wellington’ to become the ‘University of Wellington’. A new Māori name, ‘Te Herenga Waka’ would also be adopted.

Over the past five weeks, the University has held a series of forums for staff, domestic and international students and stakeholder groups including civic leaders, other tertiary institutions and Māori. The University has also held discussions with relevant public agencies, international agents and the general public to seek feedback on the proposal and has communicated with alumni in New Zealand and overseas. Six people attended the public meeting held in Wellington and two of the 220 people invited attended the stakeholder meeting.

In addition, the University has sought professional advice from international ranking agencies and from other universities that have made a similar change to their name. Market research has also been carried out to understand the views of prospective international students and their parents.

He says all feedback will be considered alongside the professional advice and a recommendation made to the University Council in the not too distant future.

Professor Guilford says if ‘Victoria’ were to be retired from the University’s official name, there are many ways in which its heritage could be respected and honoured.

“For instance, retaining the word in publications, our physical facilities or some of our units such as clubs or halls of residence. We could potentially offer awards using the name and could consider regular symposia that bring alive this era and our connection to it across areas as diverse as literature, music, sociology, law, and politics, to name a few.”