Controversial renaming of Victoria University blocked by Minister

A controversial attempt by the Victoria University Council to rename themselves as as University of Wellington has been blocked by Minister of Education Chris Hipkins.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has declined Victoria University of Wellington Council’s application for a legal name change.

The Council formally made an application to change the institution’s name to the University of Wellington on 27 September 2018.

“I have considered the University’s recommendation and supporting information along with advice received from officials,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The Council identified benefits that it considered would follow a name change and its consultation process which, although the subject of some criticism, brought out a wide range of views.

“The Council’s consultation showed that staff were divided on the name change, and there was significant opposition from alumni and students who responded. This opposition is also reflected in surveys conducted by the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association and the VUW Law Students’ Society, and to a lesser extent one from the Tertiary Education Union.

“I also received more than 450 pieces of correspondence on the name change question from students, alumni and others mostly opposed to the name change. Many of these referred to a petition with more than 10,000 signatories listed as opposing the name change.

“While Victoria University of Wellington, like other universities, has significant autonomy in making academic, operational and management decisions, it is accountable to its community and the groups that make up the University.

“I am not convinced that the University engaged sufficiently with the views of those stakeholders who should have their views considered. Given the level of opposition to the University’s recommendation, including by its own staff, students and alumni, I am not persuaded that the recommendation is consistent with the demands of accountability and the national interest.

From what I have seen there had been widespread opposition to the renaming on social media, and the decision of Hipkins has generally been applauded.

I haven’t seen any grizzling about the decision.

“In the interests of transparency, I am releasing the advice I have received to inform my decision on the application for a name change,” Chris Hipkins said.

Good to see a Minister walking the transparency talk.


Leave a comment


  1. Gezza

     /  19th December 2018

    Good decision.

  2. Trevors_Elbow

     /  19th December 2018

    No a good decision Gezza, a Great Decision. VUW is a proud institution and doesn’t need mealy mouthed idiots trying to apply marketing glitzy to its name and reputation…

    Very happy the Minister has heeded the alumni and left well enough alone.

    Now the VC needs to concentrate on lifting academic performance – stop focusing on cashflow from foreign students and focus on performance (I know, I know… its a University so the words performance and achievement won’t go down well in the Teaching, Arts and Social ‘Sciences’ Departments – but stuff them!)

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  19th December 2018

      Of course performance and achievement are still important at universities.

      I am delighted that dear old Vic is keeping its name.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  19th December 2018

        There are other Victoria Universities, I believe, and I know that there are other Wellingtons, but I can’t believe that there are other Victoria Universities in them.


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