The National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) is to consider changing its title to ‘University of Galway’. This rebranding is reportedly due to ambiguity surrounding the university’s name, as well as a lack of international recognition. 

Previously known as Queen’s College Galway, then University College Galway, NUIG believes that reinventing for the fourth time will strengthen the college’s identity. “We can confirm that the university is currently assessing the potential for rebranding. While Údarás na hOllscoile, the governing authority of NUI Galway, and staff have been briefed on considerations around a project of this nature, no decisions have been made.”

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The college has stated that they are hoping to decide upon a name that will work in both English and Irish due to their wish to maintain a strong relationship with the language. NUIG is not the first Irish university to change their name in an attempt to bolster its global reputation, in 2014 NUI Maynooth rebranded itself as Maynooth University.

However, its legal name remains NUI Maynooth under the 1997 Universities Act, which binds all constituent NUI universities to legal standards regarding their titles. It is this act that also makes UCD’s official name ‘University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin’. Eyebrows are often raised at the fact that the word ‘Dublin’ is included in UCD’s crest, but the university states that this is to “reinforce the status of the University and its sense of place”.

They claim that this also prevents confusing UCD with other universities internationally. Rather than reiterating the fact that the college is in Ireland, UCD maintains that Dublin must be the main focus as its location has played a key role in shaping the college and its future in becoming one of Europe’s leading universities. Hence, the word must be printed twice on the crest.

Ella Waddington – Reporter