The Privy Council granted the University of Winchester research degree awarding powers on 15 August. The authority to award Winchester's own research degrees to doctoral students follows a year-long scrutiny by assessors from the Quality Assurance Agency. Elizabeth Stuart, the pro vice-chancellor who led the application, said: "The achievement confirms Winchester's status as a mature university committed to the generation and transfer of knowledge. Our research students are a vital part of our dynamic and innovative research environment and they are overjoyed." Winchester received university status in 2005, and 105 of its students are currently completing doctorates.