On 1 November 2011, the university officially became Cardiff Metropolitan University. In 1996, the university gained university status and became known as the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC). Prior to this the university was known as Cardiff Institute of Higher Education. In 1992 it gained independence from the local county council. The history of the university can be traced back as far as 1865 with the opening of the School of Art in Cardiff city centre. The School of Art merged with Cardiff Training College, Cardiff College of Food Technology & Commerce and Llandaff Technical College in 1976 as the South Glamorgan Institute for Higher Education. This institution occupied the same sites and offered similar vocational subject areas as Cardiff Metropolitan University does today.