The Royal Agricultural College may soon become the Royal Agricultural University.

But this has been met with outrage from students.

More than 700 people have signed a petition against the move to change the name of the Cirencester institution to the Royal Agricultural University – or RAU.

“It’s ridiculous, it sounds like a rugby club,” said one disgruntled alumnus.

The college has announced it intends to apply for university status later this year.

RAC Principal, Professor Chris Gaskell, said: “Recognition of the work of the institution through the title ‘university’ is important, not least for students and prospective students. I am confident that the Royal Agricultural University will build on the reputation and legacy of its parent, the RAC.”