University College London (UCL) is asking public to submit their suggestion of a new Chinese name. The winner will get a £1000 reward. The current Chinese name of UCL, 伦敦大学学院, the literal translation of Unversity College London, sometimes causes confusion in China where the concept of traditional English ‘college’ need some explanation. Also the current name is, as UCL admit, not very inspiring. As many other British universities, UCL have attracted many Chinese students. Having a classy and easy to remember Chinese name should improve the image and competitiveness of UCL in China.

The requirment, submission form and contact details can be found here.

From UCL News:

The UCL community is invited to propose a new Chinese name for UCL Staff who interact with Chinese students and alumni are often told that UCL’s current Chinese name – 伦敦大学学院 (Lúndūn Dàxué Xuéyuàn) – is not inspiring.

Professor Moira Yip, UCL Pro-Provost for China, Hong Kong & Macao, has launched a contest to come up with a better name. A generous alumnus (who wishes to remain anonymous) has offered a prize of £1,000 to the winner.

All entries will be judged by a panel composed of staff and students from UCL’s Chinese community. Some ground rules:

  • we cannot call ourselves London University
  • the name should be usable in China and any other Chinese-speaking countries
  • entries should be submitted both in characters and in pinyin, and accompanied by a word-for-word translation, plus a brief explanation of why you think it works well both in print and orally
  • in print the new name would be used with UCL’s normal corporate identity, rather than on its own
  • the winner must give UCL the right to use the name.

Entries should made using this Word form, and must be emailed to Sarah Guthrie, UCL Corporate Communications, by 30 November 2007.

If the winning entry is deemed suitable, it will become our normal Chinese name, but we reserve the right to use none of the entries. Entry indicates your permission for UCL to use your proposed name.

To find out about UCL’s activity in China, Hong Kong and Macau, use the link at the top of the article.