The King’s University College in Edmonton, Alberta, has a new name. It will now be known as The King’s University.
While in the U.S. there is little difference academically between a college and a university, the terms cause significant confusion in Canada. Many think colleges are two-year community colleges, while others equate the word “college” with Bible colleges.
On July 2, the Alberta government announced that King’s would be allowed to change its name from “university college” to “university.”
The name change has been a long time in the making. “A name change was already on people’s minds when I got there,” said Harry Fernhout, who served as president of the school from 2005 to 2013. “The name change is good for institutional self-confidence and image.”
“This is a significant milestone in our 35-year history,” said Bill Diepeveen, chair of The King’s Board of Governors. “We are delighted and thankful that the [government] has recognized us for what we are—a full-fledged university with all that means. From humble beginnings in 1979 with just six professors and a few dozen students, we have grown to a reputable liberal arts and sciences institution with almost 700 students, more than 4,000 alumni, award-winning professors, and among the highest student satisfaction marks in Canada in independent surveys.”
This really validates and legitimizes what we have already been for some time, added King’s president Melanie Humphreys. “It also removes the brand confusion created by having ‘college’ in our name right after ‘university.’ Further, it puts us on the same stage as the other independent universities across the country. As a community, we couldn’t be more pleased—this will serve our students well.”
Although graduates from King’s have had a good acceptance rate when pursuing graduate studies, the name change will remove the questions they have faced. “You don’t have to explain anymore” said Diepeveen.
The name change may help in recruitment of students as well as benefit faculty applying for research grants.
Officially changing its name may take some time as a petition for amendments through a private bill moves through the Alberta legislature, but meanwhile, The King’s University can start using its new name.