The Victoria University of Wellington could still be marketed under a different name, although the Minister of Education Chris Hipkins rejected the controversial offer of the institution by a change of legal name.
Hipkins' announcement on Tuesday followed months of deliberations and a strong campaign against the proposal.
However, the university's vice chancellor, Grant Guilford, said he could choose to boost his "Wellington" identity without the minister's consent, while legally keeping his name. It could also legally challenge the decision if the council decided.
KEVIN STENT / STUFF
Education Minister Chris Hipkins received more than 450 pieces of correspondence from students. unlike the name change.
Guilford cited Stanford University as an example that is legally the Leland Stanford Junior University. He said universities closer to home, such as the Auckland University of Technology, better known as AUT, made similar changes through the brand.
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For the oldest campus in the capital, it could mean using the name "Wellington more prominently" in the materials of marketing.
KEVIN STENT / STUFF
Victoria University of Wellington will keep its name.
"That's one of our options and that's something we'll consider."
But Professor Bodo Lang, a marketing expert at the University of Auckland, said the measure would "put the problem aside" and that marketing under another name could work in the form of an abbreviation. In the case of VUW, it could be seen as "messy."
"You want a brand that is as clear as possible, an abbreviation is part of everyone's language."
Hipkins said he was "not convinced" that the university was sufficiently committed to the stakeholders, "who should have their views considered."
"Given the level of opposition to the recommendation of the university, including by its own staff, students and alumni, I am not convinced that the recommendation is consistent with the demands of responsibility and the national interest."
Guilford said the minister's decision was a disappointment, but "not unexpected".
The university was studying all the content related to the subject and any other decision, including a possible legal challenge, could be presented at the next board meeting in February.
The challenge could be made if it were determined that the minister's decision was illegal or unreasonable: "We will think carefully," Guilford said.
Hipkins would not wonder if university leaders should lose their jobs because of the failed proposal.
However, he believed that the university council had not "fulfilled its responsibilities … in a way that was responsible to the university community in general."
The president of the university's student association, Marlon Drake, was pleased with the students' concerns about the consultation processes.
He looked forward to the "proper consultation and the end of the box consultation".
It was time for the university to consider more important issues such as mental health services, he said.
The movement of the tertiary institution to change its brand moved to its final stages after the council voted to change its name to the University of Wellington and adopt a new Maori name for Te Herenga Waka in September. The institution had originally agreed to a new name for the University of Wellington on July 27
However, Hipkins had the final signature to approve or reject the name.
In a discussion paper on the proposal, Hipkins was told he was not required to make a decision on the university's proposal to change the Maori name of Te Whare Wānanga or Te Ūpoko O Te Ika to Māui ] a Te Herenga Waka even though the comments on the consultation work are "mostly supportive".
The staff was divided regarding the name change and there was significant opposition between alumni and students, he said.
Hipkins received more than 450 pieces of correspondence from students, alumni and others, mostly against the name change.
A petition to change.org had more than 10,000 listed signatories opposing the name of the University of Wellington.