Southampton University has clashed with King Alfred's College in Winchester over its use of the title "university college".
The university, to which the college is accredited, has criticised it for using the term in its prospectus without authorisation. A meeting with the college governors is planned this month.
The university cites the Dearing report, which specifies that the title can only be used by institutions with degree-awarding powers. A university spokesman said: "King Alfred's is one of our accredited colleges but they don't have the power to award degrees themselves. The Department for Education and Employment has taken the view that the term 'university college' is misleading if the college is not strictly part of the university.
A college spokesman said: "The formal title of the college has been, and remains now, King Alfred's College, Winchester. However, like so many similar colleges, we use the words 'university college' as a description in the prospectus. This was acknowledged in discussion with senior officers of the university well over a year ago.
"Meanwhile we find ourselves in a confused situation where the college regularly receives correspondence addressed to King Alfred's University College from the DfEE, the Teacher Training Agency and the Higher Education Funding Council."
The college, which wants to be a university by 2005, has recently dropped the term from its letterheads and uses the more acceptable "a university sector college."