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New name will cost £20,000
Consultants were paid £20,000 to come up with a new name for the merged university and Bradford College and offered 'Bradford University', 'University of Bradford' and 'The University of Bradford'.
Leaders at the university and college, set to merge in 2004, were today criticised for spending tens of thousands of pounds to external consultants Priority Research Limited to develop ideas for the best name for the new-look institution.
Today Paul Russell, of the NATFHE teaching union, said: "Paying outside consultants for this is ludicrous. "
He said he preferred another option, since discarded, the City of Bradford University. Other options were Bradford Metropolitan University and Bradford University College.
Plans to merge the two centres, which are side-by-side in Great Horton Road, are now well advanced.
Leaders hope the new chartered university would be more successful in attracting both funding and new students.
They hope to continue the international research and reputation for excellence enjoyed by the university while tapping into more local students.
It would be split into six faculties, as well as an academy for sixth-formers.
Some students have expressed fears that their university degrees could be "devalued" by the merger with the further education college, but the University of Bradford Student Union has voted for the plan.
The consultation over a new name was open to all staff and students, to fill in an on-line questionnaire.
It was completed by 1,475 of the staff across both institutions (29 per cent) and 2,086 students (five per cent) who were asked to cast their votes for a list of 20 options, placing them in rank order.
This exercise resulted in the 'top three' above, with University of Bradford being the most popular overall.
Fewer university staff and students thought a new name was necessary for the new institution than college staff and students.
A university spokesman said the outside consultants had been paid £20,000 to carry out the exercise. Consultation on the new name is still going on, and no final decision has been made.
Alan Hodgson, principal at the College and Professor Chris Taylor, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: "Several names have been put forward. Further consultation is now expected to take place externally. These discussions are part of the on-going consultation process, and will inform a final decision to be taken by the governing bodies of the two institutions.
"In addition, feedback has been collected from members of the public. These comments will now be addressed as part of the Learning and Skills Council for West Yorkshire assessment."
The Learning and Skills Council will make a recommendation to the DfES - which must approve any merger - at the end of May and a decision is expected in early June.
Susannah Davies, of the University of Bradford Student Union, backed the appointment of outside consultants.
"They needed to do it properly and cover every base, I can completely understand why they have done it," she said.
She said students felt strongly that any new title should retain the words 'Bradford' and 'University'.
She said her personal preference was for the simple 'Bradford University'.