To enhance "graduate outcomes," the University of Bolton proposes to abandon its current town name and adopt a new identity as the University of Greater Manchester. This change is being championed by Vice-Chancellor George Holmes, who believes it will better encompass the university's reach beyond Bolton into the broader geographical region.
The University's Board of Governors and its Students' Union have supported this name alteration. The university has applied to the Office for Students and the Department for Education to formalise the transition. Pending approval from relevant stakeholders, the university anticipates officially adopting its new name on August 1, 2024.
It's worth noting that the University of Bolton, which originated in 1824 as the Bolton Mechanics Institute, has undergone several transformations. It obtained the authority to award taught degrees in 1990 and assumed the title University of Bolton in 2005. According to Mr. Holmes, this name modification is expected to contribute positively to the region's economic development.
He further remarked, "Our roots run deep in Bolton, and we take immense pride in our nearly two centuries of presence here, dating back to the formation of the Bolton Mechanics Institute. Our unwavering commitment to being an integral part of the local community is evident in our daily actions.
"Our utmost priority is ensuring our students receive the best possible educational experience and outcomes. Both we and our students, represented by the Students' Union, believe that the name change would positively impact graduate outcomes."
Mr. Holmes also pointed out that the name change would accurately reflect the University of Bolton's expanded footprint, which now includes locations in Wigan, Trafford, Manchester city centre, Farnworth, and Horwich.
"We firmly believe that a University of Greater Manchester can coexist harmoniously alongside the universities of Manchester and Salford without causing any issues," he emphasised.
The Office for Students is expected to consult via an open letter to various stakeholders to gather input on the proposed new name before deciding on granting consent.
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