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King’s Principal says ‘we will keep KCL legal name’ in email

PRINCIPAL Ed Byrne has confirmed that KCL will keep its official name of ‘King’s College London’ for legal documents, academic citations and the awarding of degrees.

The name ‘King’s London’ will be used from February 2015, introduced incrementally, starting with a new website and undergraduate prospectus.

They are “still working through all the technical elements” on guidance of how and where the new branding will be used.

This comes as students are consulting with law firms to try and prevent the rebrand.

 

Here is the full email from the Principal Ed Byrne to students:

Dear staff and students

I wanted to send out a brief note outlining some of the proposed changes in the way we will present the public image of King’s in the New Year and explain the rationale for them. What is proposed, as you will see from a public exhibition in February, is a very modest change similar to how several other large London university institutions are now presenting themselves. As an expression of our ambition for King’s, we will change our promotional name to ‘King’s London’, continue to use ‘King’s’ informally, but keep our legal name ‘King’s College London’ for legal documents, academic citations and the awarding of degrees.

Introducing the new brand is one part of a process of incremental change at King’s to improve our performance in both education and research as we aspire to be universally recognised as one of the world’s great universities. I have described this process elsewhere under the label of ‘King’s Futures’, a programme of initiatives to strengthen our profile in areas such as business, technology and the natural sciences, to enhance the student experience and to introduce greater internationalisation to our curriculum and student body. We will phase in the introduction of the new brand gradually over three years – starting with our website and the undergraduate prospectus – to ensure effective use of existing resources.

As you know King’s has evolved dramatically over recent decades to become one of the largest universities in the UK with vibrant activities in almost every area of academic endeavour. Our tradition is a long and honourable one and our name ‘King’s College London’, often abbreviated to ‘KCL’, is well known to the academic community and to most students in the UK. However, our research conducted over the last 18 months with potential students, parents, staff, students and alumni, revealed that our current name was causing considerable confusion: is King’s a residential college, is it an academic college akin to the colleges of Oxbridge, or is it an educational institution of some other type such as a further education college? Internationally, there was further misunderstanding as ‘College’ is not a widely understood term in many countries. Going forward, we will refer to ourselves as a university rather than a college wherever possible.

I fully recognise and understand that many staff and students, past and present, have an emotional connection to ‘College’, however I believe that in today’s highly competitive global marketplace, King’s needs to be bold about its ambitions and shout about its many achievements. The purpose of a very modest repositioning is to deal with these concerns sensitively and constructively.

We have prepared some FAQs where we provide more detail about the introduction of the new brand. If you have further questions, please get in touch with [email protected] and the Brand Communications team will be happy to answer them.

Best wishes

Ed Byrne

President & Principal

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