'Ivory towers' shaken by plan to rebrand Trinity
Published 13/02/2014 | 02:30
SENIOR staff at Trinity College have severely criticised a plan to change the name of Ireland's oldest university.
Outraged tenured academics, referred to as Fellows, have held a number of meetings to discuss a proposed change in the name of the college to 'Trinity College, University of Dublin'.
The college hired market research firm Behaviour and Attitudes to produce a report entitled 'TCD Identity Initiative', which showed clearly that the vast majority of students, staff and members of the public are strongly opposed to changing the name.
But the survey also revealed that Trinity was widely viewed as a "snobbish and elitist" institution, rich in heritage and tradition but not really regarded as a modern university.
The possible name change is part of a drive to "modernise" to attract more students from China, India and Brazil.
Non-EU students pay fees in excess of €40,000 a year and are a valuable source of income. for Trinity.
However, a three-page protest letter sent this week to Provost Dr Paddy Prendergast from Fellows of the college, and seen by the Irish Independent, said the proposed change would have a "detrimental impact on university rankings".
"This proposal has caused significant concern, both within the college community and externally, on a large number of grounds," the letter said.
A Trinity spokesman said consultations will continue.
"Work is ongoing but there will be further rounds of consultation, including with the Fellows and the college community of staff and students, before any proposals are brought back to board," he said.