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The University of California (UC) is a public university system in the US state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-system public higher education plan, which also include the California State University system and the California Community Colleges System.

The University of California was founded on March 23, 1868 , and operated temporarily in Oakland before moving to its new campus in Berkeley in 1873.In March 1951, the University of California began its reorganization, and in 1952 it became separated as a "university system" from the University of California, Berkeley, with Robert Gordon Sproul being the first system-wide President and Clark Kerr being the first Chancellor of UC Berkeley. 

Today, governed by a semi-autonomous Board of Regents, the University of California has 10 campuses, a combined student body of 251,700 students, 21,200 faculty members, 144,000 staff members and over 1.86 million living alumni as of October 2016.[3] Its tenth and newest campus in Merced opened in fall 2005. Nine campuses enroll both undergraduate and graduate students; one campus, UC San Francisco, enrolls only graduate and professional students in the medical and health sciences. In addition, the UC Hastings College of Law, located in San Francisco, is legally affiliated with UC, but other than sharing its name is entirely autonomous from the rest of the system.[citation needed]

The University of California also manages or co-manages three national laboratories for the US Department of Energy: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

Collectively, the colleges, institutions, and alumni of the University of California make it the most comprehensive and advanced postsecondary educational system in the world, responsible for nearly US$50 billion per year of economic impact. UC campuses have large numbers of distinguished faculty in almost every academic discipline, with UC faculty and researchers having won at least 62 Nobel Prizes as of 2017.

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