The word ‘liberty university’ is used to describe an institution of higher education accredited by the Higher Education Commission of Ireland (HEI).
The first and only university to be accredited by this body was founded by a woman named Julia MacBride in 1848.
The new school is named after her son and his wife who founded it in 1916.
It is located in Kilkenny city, in the province of Sligo.
In 2017, a group of students launched a campaign to rename the school, arguing it was not ‘in keeping with the modern world’.
The group was backed by the National Association of College and University Teachers (NACUT).
In its 2017 report, the NACUT claimed the name ‘libertarian’ was used to ‘denigrate liberty and freedom’.
“There is no longer a clear distinction between a liberal arts college and a private university,” the report said.
“The term ‘liberation university’ also suggests an ideological separation between the political left and the right, the traditionalist and the libertarian.
Freedom to learn and study is now considered a right for all.”
In a statement, the school said it would not change its name and was in the process of making changes.
As for the new school, it said it is looking to expand its student body and make the school accessible to more students.
Students can now book their rooms, accommodation and meals online.
A new ‘free space’ is also being created in the basement of the school.
There are now also spaces for ‘learning activities’ for students and their families.
All classes are now free, except for a few religious and philosophical courses which are paid for by the university.
NACIT president Colm McBride said the university would look to “re-invent” its name in light of the new campaign.
“The name Liberty University is based on Julia MacBridges original vision for the school and its mission,” he said.
“It is not a trademark or trademarked name of the university and is not associated with any particular individual or organisation.”