The Central University of Venezuela (UCV) was founded by Real Cedula of King Felipe V of Spain in 1721. In 1827, liberator Simon Bolivar established the republican status and by-laws for the doctrine and operation of UCV. Furthermore, the decree provided UCV with autonomy, a secular character, rent and democratic principles. UCV was the first autonomous university in the Hispano-American world. UCV is a public university. Today, UCV has 54 schools, 44 research institutes, 40 research centres, five extramural centres of studies at distance, 12 experimental agronomic and veterinary stations, 409 postgraduate courses and 4,678 actives professors and lecturers – 1,685 of whom have doctoral degrees. UCV is a member of Unesco’s World Heritage list, its campus being an open air museum that was designed by the famous Venezuelan architect Carlos Raul Villanueva.