Full university status has been bestowed on the University College for the Creative Arts. From September, the institution will be known simply as the University for the Creative Arts. Elaine Thomas, the rector, said the move reflects the growing authority of creative arts subjects and recognition of the value of the creative and cultural industries to society and the economy. The university, which has 6,500 students, was formed in 2005 by the merger of the Surrey Institute for Art and Design University College and the Kent Institute for Art and Design. Professor Thomas said: "Although we are technically the newest university in Britain, we have a heritage spanning almost 150 years through our founder institutions."