Leeds students in call for a university name change poll

NAME GAME: Joshua Malpass-Clark is campaigning for Leeds Metropolitan University to keep its name.
NAME GAME: Joshua Malpass-Clark is campaigning for Leeds Metropolitan University to keep its name.
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A campaign to halt plans to change the name of Leeds Metropolitan University has taken a step forward.

Leeds Metropolitan University was given permission to change its name to Leeds Becketts by the Privy Council in December but opponents are still fighting to keep its ‘metropolitan’ tag.

Joshua Malpass-Clark is a third year sports science student leading the charge to retain the current name.

He said: “We are trying to push for an official referendum in February. For that to happen, we would have three days to collect 750 supporters, which I think we will do with ease.”

Mr Malpass-Clark said he believed university leaders had ‘rushed’ the consultation and hadn’t properly considered the impact of a name change, which will cost £250,000 and take place in September.

He said: “It’s our view people will be disadvantaged by this name change and those already on degree courses will have theirs cheapened. Employers know Leeds Met but they do not know Leeds Becketts.”

Professor Susan Price, Vice Chancellor, said: “We have a proud history and the name Beckett was chosen as Beckett Park is where a number of our predecessor colleges were established.”

She said students, staff and governors were consulted almost a year ago, adding: “A formal consultation on the proposed new name took place with over 45,000 people including staff, students, alumni, stakeholders and international bodies.

“Our name migration group, which includes the Students’ Union, has begun detailed planning to ensure student interests are accurately identified and addressed during the transition.”

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Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

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