Best use of student tuition fees?

Yesterday I cycled across the Headingley campus for Leeds Metropolitan University. Sorry, Leeds Beckett University, as it is now known judging from the brand new signage.

Now, if I were a student at (the now former) Leeds Met University forking out £9,000 a year in tuition fees, I’d be chaining myself to the railings to protest at the – in my opinion – totally pointless change of name from Leeds Metropolitan University to Leeds Beckett University, a change that is estimated to be costing the university £250,000. Indeed it looks as if Leeds Met students voted overwhelmingly AGAINST the name change. But, the Powers That Be, in their wisdom (and no doubt egged on by their advertising / marketing agency who knew they’d be coining it in as a result) decided to plough ahead regardless.

If universities are so strapped for cash that they are obliged to charge students £9,000 a year in tuition fees, then one would have thought that any cash they do have would be spent to enhance their students’ education or university facilities. But, no, obviously the Powers That Be decided that a change of name would be the best use of £250,000.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, says the reason for the change of name is because “we firmly believe it is important to have a name which reflects our ambition and distinctive position in a competitive global market and now is a good time to change our name based on our excellent progress and recent achievements.”

Excuse me, but that’s tosh. OK, the Headingley campus used to be named ‘Beckett Park’, hence where they got the name from. But that’s past, not future… And it doesn’t say global or ambition or any of that stuff.

This is a name change just for the sake of it. Against students’ wishes and wasting £250K of their tuition fees, fees which students will still be struggling to pay back in decades to come.

PS: Interesting to see the title “Leeds Metropolitan changes it’s name” on the Student Room discussion page about this topic. Obviously £250K **would** have been better spent educating students in basic use of English grammar that, in this context, “it’s” should be “its” (i.e. without an apostrophe).

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