A society called "Students for Britain" has been told it cannot exist as an official university group because the word "Britain" might have negative connotations for foreign students.
The pro-Brexit group applied to Keele University's students' union to be formally recognised, but was told there were several reasons it would not be ratified.
One reason included: "We felt the semantics behind the name of the group could be interpreted negatively on first glance, particularly with our internationally diverse student body."
Tom Harwood, chair of Students for Britain, told HuffPost UK: "We are disappointed that Keele Students' Union refused to accept our society, particularly on these questionable grounds.
"We hope that they will reassess this decision, in order that students at Keele can be provided with a balanced debate."
The students' union told HuffPost UK it would not comment.
Update: The students' union has since commented on the events, with a spokesperson saying the group "did not meet the requirements we set for affiliation". The SU has now also de-ratified the pro-EU group.
"We have presented an alternative to Students For Britain & Keele Young Europeans for them both to be "temporary campaign groups" rather than 'societies' under the umbrella of our student-led group Keele."