A ROW has broken out on whether a North-East university should name its newest college after an inspirational woman or a financial donor.

Students at Durham University have now launched a “College McCollegeface” campaign over the proposed naming of its 17th college, which is yet to be built.

Durham Students’ Union (DSU) launched the campaign because it says it should not be named after “Mr Moneybags”.

President Megan Croll said: “I find it embarrassing that our 16 colleges, named after people who have achieved great things, or are renowned in history, could be followed by colleges simply named after someone who is willing to cough up enough cash.”

It says the new college should be named after a woman as 13 of the 16 existing colleges are named after men, including St Cuthbert, Peter Ustinov, railway pioneer George Stephenson, physician John Snow and former Prime Minister Charles Gray.

The last new college was named after Josephine Butler, the Northumberland-born feminist and social reformer, who campaigned alongside former Northern Echo editor William Stead on child prostitution.

More than 2,000 students have so far signed a petition calling for the university to change its mind.

Prior to the university’s change of heart, its assembly had suggested a number of notable women with links to the area, including Ella Bryant, the first woman to receive a degree from Durham, poets Dorothea Ruth Etchells and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, politician Mo Mowlam and ballerina and former chancellor Margot Fonteyn.

University secretary Jennifer Sewel said: “One of the ways the university is looking to fund its new ten-year strategy is through a fundraising campaign for Durham. The naming of new buildings, and the 17th college, could be an important part of this campaign.”

She added: “In February, the university’s governing council agreed that until a permanent name for the 17th college is chosen, an interim name should be adopted.

“Proposals for an interim name will be considered by University Council in March.”

Work on the college, which will be at Mount Oswald, off South Road, is due to start this spring and will be completed by September 2019.