APRIL FOOL: The University of Oslo becomes Apollon University
On Friday, 29 March, the University Board decided to change the University's name to Apollon University. The new name is well grounded in the UiO's history and aims to strengthen the university's international position.
- UiO is one of Norway's foremost knowledge environments and the goal is to strengthen our position in Norway, Europe and the world. The new name is the next step in this work, says Svein Stølen, Rector of what is still called the University of Oslo.
The Rector says that it was especially important for the University to find a good English-language name. The rationale is a major investment internationally. For while other Norwegian universities and colleges have merged with each other, the University of Oslo has turned its attention to Europe.
Apollon University - an obvious choice
The god Apollo is a symbol of light, sun and truth.
Although the name Apollon University is new, Apollon is not completely unknown to the UiO. The mythological god and his harp have long adorned the University's brand.
- The name Apollon is rooted in the university's history, says Pro-Rector Gro Bjørnerud Mo, who has led the name change work. She says that it has been important for the University to find a name with a high symbol value and a little oomph:
- UiO is one of the country's most important knowledge institutions and we know that name changes can easily stir up emotions. Therefore, we have landed on a name with strong roots in history, without it allowing for confusion about who we are, says Mo.
Symbol of light, sun and truth
Apollo is a god of Greek and Roman mythology. He is a symbol of light, sun and truth. These are values the University identifies with.
- We are looking for truth. It is truth that drives everything we do at the University, elaborates Rector Stølen who himself was glowing as the sun when the new name could finally be presented. He receives support from the Director of the Cultural History Museum, Håkon Glørstad:
- I think this is a brilliant proposal, in the right sense of the word. The name Apollon takes up the University's roots back to antiquity and shows that the thoughts of that time are still relevant.
New name opens for new mergers
The name change has been on the cards for a while, says the rector team and refers to the structural reform in the university and college sector.
- UiO is no longer the only university in Oslo. The city has got a new university with OsloMet and other institutions want to become a university in the long term. We risk confusing the universities among applicants for our education and positions and for the rest of our surrounding world. People are confused! We must take that seriously, says Stølen.
The new name will simplify mergers with institutions elsewhere. Stølen & Mo won't speculate if the University will merge with other institutions in the future, but say that the University Board wanted a place-independent name.
- It was a prerequisite that the name should function well in both Norwegian and English, be flexible and independent of city and country borders. Apollon University meets all these requirements, says Stølen.
Logo with new colour and new design
A consequence of the name change is a revised graphic profile for the University.
- UiO has long been in need of a graphic profile that is better suited digitally, especially on mobile devices, which are becoming more and more important for students and researchers, says UiO's new Director of Communications Berit Kolberg Rossiné.
A part of the work on the name change has been to look at the overall profile of the institution, and then it was decided that the current red color is not to be continued. Instead, the University has chosen a peach-coloured variant with a more subdued appearance.
- We find that it appears to be more serious, says Kolberg Rossiné.
- Orange as colour stands for creativity, sincerity, change and curiosity. All of these are values that identify the University and that fit Apollon.
She thinks the new design is tasteful and stylish.
Not the first name change
Although the history of the UiO extends all the way back to 1811, the name "University of Oslo" is only from 1939. When the University was established in 1811, it was under the name "King Fredrik's University". The foundation letter states that the University should be located at Kongsberg, but in 1812 the location was changed to Kristiania, and this was where the University developed. Until 1946, the University of Oslo was the only university in the country and therefore known only as "the University".
Still based in the capital
- Now we are in a new competitive situation. We are no longer alone, neither nationally nor locally. Although UiO will appear with a new name and new graphic profile from January 1, 2020, we will still be a leading European university based in the capital, assures Rector Svein Stølen, who next year may welcome students to prestigious Apollon University.
The new name must be approved by the Ministry of Education and Research, and it must be adopted by the King in Cabinet.