UGA became the cradle of public higher education 234 years ago

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08h24: 27/01/2019 | Education

Neetu Chandak | Reporter on education and politics

The University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, Georgia, became the cradle of public higher education on January 27, 1785 – 234 years ago.

It was the first time that an education system was managed by the state rather than by a religious institution.

The General Assembly of Georgia allocated 40,000 acres of land to a higher education institution in 1784, according to UGA website. Graduate from Yale University Abraham Baldwin First president of UGA, he participated in the drafting of the charter in 1784.

The university was founded only in 1801 and the first class graduated in 1804.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, however, says it is the "first public university of the country" on its website. The longstanding dispute seems to be about the date of establishment. UNC-Chapel Hill was created in 1789 and the first students arrived in 1795.

The Old Well iconic well on the University of North Carolina campus at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, September 20, 2018. Photo taken September 20, 2018. REUTERS / Jonathan Drake

The famous Old Well on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA, September 20, 2018. REUTERS / Jonathan Drake

"UNC is the first public college in the country to admit students," said Greg Trevor, executive director of media communications at the Daily Caller News Foundation, by e-mail.

the College of William and Mary in Virginia also believes that it's the first public university since its inception in 1693. But the university has been private for more than 250 years. William and Mary closed after the Civil War due to financial problems. The college began accepting state funds in 1906. It is still the second oldest university in the county, behind Harvard University in Massachusetts.

UGA The program at the time of its foundation was traditional classical studies. It was expanded to include law courses in 1843, and then to include agriculture and the mechanical arts after receiving federal funding in 1872.

Almost 15 million students attend public colleges or universities with more than 300,000 students in Georgia's university system, according to the university's website. (RELATED: elite universities hide information on funding from the ultra-conservative nation of Qatar)

More than 60% of university research is done by public universities and more than two-thirds of first-generation students attend public universities, according to data from the American Association of Colleges and Colleges of State reported by UGA.

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