UK university names tend, on the whole, to be pretty straightforward. Although the Higher Education and Research Act was intended in part to usher in a new era of exciting new challenger institutions, there aren’t yet that many with thrilling and edgy names.
Most universities are named after their locations but some newer institutions have chosen names based on famous historical figures or benefactors in order to differentiate themselves. These are arguably the most interesting names in UK higher education:
De Montfort University
Liverpool John Moores University
Wrexham Glyndwr University
Anglia Ruskin University
Edinburgh Napier University
Harper Adams University
Leeds Beckett University
Birkbeck, University of London
And my two personal favourites:
Bishop Grosseteste University
Plymouth Marjon University, formally called the University of St Mark and St John but long known as Marjon.
And there is also, of course NMiTE, the New Model in Technology & Engineering, which is a rather strange name but is in reality just a working title pending the announcement of the real name of Hereford’s new university.
The US though has a cornucopia of unusual university names as this recent best college name tournament in the Chronicle demonstrated.
The 64 qualifiers were divided thematically:
There was the Pantry Deathmatch Division (Rice, Curry, Berry, Citrus), the I Was Not Aware Of These Saints Division (St. Olaf, St. Norbert, St. Cloud, St. John Fischer), the Great Sweatshirt Division (Hickey, Holy Names, Isothermal, Defiance), the Generic Male Names Division (Gordon, Barry, Alfred, Bob Jones), and so on.
The full list is here:
The final came down to Slippery Rock University versus the Moody Bible Institute (not sure who won) but the earlier eliminations included some very impressive names including:
Whatcom Community College
Epic Bible College
Assiniboine Community College
Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential
Visible Music College
And, unlike the list of some fake universities, these ones all appear to be real. What’s your favourite (real) university or college name?