Posh splice

July 19, 2002

Manchester University vice-chancellor Sir Martin Harris is "not slow at coming forward" in his fundraising attempts, according to higher education minister Margaret Hodge. She told last week's national teaching awards that Sir Martin was attempting to extract "zillions of pounds" from all and sundry to finance a proposed merger with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. But Sir Martin may have missed a trick. When it was granted a Royal Charter in 1880, Manchester University was called Victoria University and had colleges in Leeds and Liverpool. When Leeds and Liverpool became independent in 1903, it became the Victoria University of Manchester. Which leads to one conclusion: that the biggest money-spinner yet could be to name the merged institutions the Victoria Beckham Manchester United University.

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