In the Video about the new logo there’s a brief bit about the process, including the fact that 2 were chosen from a shortlist of 4 and then voted for, which sounds a bit like a cop out, and the Branding announcement talks about having a brand that is strong and effectively represents what the university stands for without actually saying anything.
The ‘UP’ construction is fairly appealing with some trendy colour overlays, though I’m not sure that the dark purple rectangle is very elegant - it detracts from the ‘U’ shape; the device is nice, but perhaps the U could have been a bit more shield-like to allude to a more general University theme - seems to work well for lots of Universities, and the Type seems a bit of a clunky afterthought. To my inexpert eye it looks like a weird cross between Helvetica and DIN. Those ‘O’s hide acceptably in the word Portsmouth, but the ‘of’ just looks very awkward.
Called spheres and half-spheres in the logo guidelines, maybe they are a nod to Portsmouth’s naval history, suggesting portholes on ships. The arrangement just about suggests a ‘P’- stretched to breaking point, and so needs the accompanying text which looks to be Univers.
I like the ultra light weight on top of the heavy word.