NUI Galway has renamed itself as “Ollscoil na Gaillimhe – University of Galway”, in an effort to emphasise its University status to international students.
The move comes after internal research found that around 30% of national media outlets incorrectly referred to the University as “NUIG”, a title that does not reference University status and is not legally correct.
Speaking to The Irish Times, University president professor Ciaran O hOgartaigh stated that the decision followed on from “detailed assessment of the issues, and comprehensive and internal discussion”.
The professor continued that “Ollscoil na Gaillimhe – University of Galway, gives a clearer sense of who we are as an institution, and of being of our place.”
Referring to the university’s proud ambition to “serve our students best by always wondering what’s beyond the horizon”, professor Ó hOgartaigh concluded by stating that the University was proud of its role in Galway’s journey to becoming a global city.
The newly named Ollscoil na Gaillimhe – University of Galway, is one of four constituent universities under the NUI umbrella, the other three being UCD, UCC, and Maynooth University, the latter of which underwent a similar renaming in 2014 in order to make clear its status as a university.
There has been a University in Galway for 177 years, dating back to its founding as Queen’s College Galway in 1845. This institution was renamed University College Galway in 1908, before the National University of Ireland (NUI), a federal university with three constituent colleges in Cork, Dublin and Galway, was established in the new republic. Over time, a loosening of this federal structure lead to the Universities Act of 1997 which codified this process. After this the University was known as NUI Galway.
There had been attempts made by senior management to change the name of the university to simply “University of Galway”, however, these could not be enacted under the Universities Act.