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.
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
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
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.
The lecturers are now called assistant professors and associate professors and
those who already had such titles were elevated to 'professor with departmental
Trinity claimed that the decision was informed by 'standardisation' issues and
that Trinity College is doing nothing more than following the precedent set by
American third-level colleges.
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.
Check out our
, at a low annual charge of €25