In the age of the acronym and Google, Trinity College, Ireland's oldest university that was established by a Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1592, is to rebrand as 'Trinity College, the University of Dublin’ to improve its global recognition.
This is a classic example of stupidity but at least the eminent members of the board have not proposed to use the legal name: “the Provost, Fellows, Foundation Scholars and the other members of Board, of the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin.”
The proposal is now to go to a vote of staff and other so-called stakeholders.
The Trinity Identity Initiative is being pushed by Patrick Prendergast, the provost, and last December, he told the University Times: “For many people abroad, a college is a secondary school, not a university. So, if you go to get a job in Hong Kong and you went to Trinity College they’ll say: ah she didn’t go to a university then. That’s not helping you. We have a requirement that we address this issue.”
This is a bogus argument as the university already calls itself the 'University of Dublin' and why wouldn't alumni already use the new proposed name, 'Trinity College, the University of Dublin’ minus the definite article.
The London School of Economics and Political Science, Imperial College and Dartmouth College, could all be confused with secondary schools?
The proposed new name has to allow for Google search query results and the word 'College' has to be retained.
So the university will end up with a pig in a poke where in colloquial use whether in conversation or on the web, few but people perceived as pompous prats, would use the formal name.
The aim of the identity exercise is to "clearly articulate and promote the values and identity of the College in a coherent, concise, distinct and recognisable manner to internal, national and international audiences. This is part of our common endeavour to position Trinity as Ireland's leading higher education institution and as a university of global consequence."
It appears that the target market is people who have never heard of Trinity College through its output -- maybe potential foreign students or not?
This rebranding is part of the quest to become a "world-class" university but how much of this effort is ego rather than producing quality education?
University College Cork has already been caught for trying to game the input for one ranking survey.
Trinity is up to similar tricks and in 2012, a
group named the 'Working Party on the Internationalisation of Academic Titles'
(it's the type of material George Orwell used to thresh) decided that all
lecturers should be called professors.
Last December, Trinity College announced a €70m new building project involving a Trinity School of Business, co-located with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub. It will "embed a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across Trinity."
It's not unrelated that the word 'innovation' is the business buzzword of the decade.
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