In 1824 he was born in Valledupar, the first school ruled by the Lancasterian method. As an acknowledgment to the heroine María Concepción Loperena de Fernández de Castro by the Vice President of the General Republic Francisco de Paula Santander. In this cloister (Old convent of Santo Domingo) they received the first teachings, connoted citizens who later distinguished themselves in the republican life of the country.

In the 19th century, Valledupar remained isolated due to the lack of roads. Education decays; Despite some efforts being made in the private sector. It was easier to send young people to study outside the country than to the capital of the Republic, and indeed some privileged families succeeded. The custom was that the male children who acceded to the University, while the women were reserved for the housework. In addition, the cultural environment preserved the rural traditions as in the other agricultural zones of the country.

During the administration of Alfonso López Pumarejo, specifically in 1936 they are founded the National School Loperena and the School of Arts and Crafts. Years later, before the creation of the Department of the Cesar a group of illustrious citizens of Valledupar raised the necessity of founding a center of university studies. With the foundation of the Department of Cesar, there are cultural movements of various kinds that combine the idea of creating a center of higher education in the city, the first attempts are channeled through the House of Culture and the creation of a Sectional University Santo Tomas in Valledupar with programs at intermediate level, whose attempt failed because they did not have the necessary economic resources, which had to be authorized by the Departmental Assembly.

In 1971, as the Governor of the Department, Dr. José Antonio Murgas and at the initiative of the Secretary of Departmental Education, the Director of the Colombian Institute for the Promotion of Higher Education, ICFES, was invited to listen to the proposals about the advantages That would bring to this region the creation of an institute of intermediate careers, that interpreted in educational matters the needs of the region so rich in natural resources. Initiative that worries but is unsuccessful, because it does not get enough support from the business and management class of the Department.

In 1973, being governor Manuel Germán Cuello Gutiérrez was born the Technological University Institute of Cesar, ITUCE. The governor gathers the idea of deputy to the Departmental Assembly Jaime Gnecco Hernandez, who presented the ordinance to create a Polytechnic Institute of Intermediate Careers.

The ITUCE worked two years during which it offered the programs of Business Administration, Agricultural Administration and Construction Techniques, but by decision of the student movement, that was generated because there was no continuity in the programs of intermediate races to continue a race Professional, opted to close it, preferring to lose two or three semesters. Given these circumstances the movement deployed a campaign for the conversion of ITUCE into a university with full academic programs.

In 1975, it was tried to create a university of private character by initiative led by Jorge Dangond Daza that agglutinated two slopes cottons and cattle. University that should provide coverage to the bachilleres of the region and the programs that would offer should be adapted to the needs and potential of the region such as agroindustry and mining. This idea was postponed because the surveys and studies carried out, on the one hand, and the acceptability of the student groups on the other, considered that the conditions necessary to carry out the project did not exist.

Another attempt to set up an initiative to open a private Intermediate Career Institute, which operated for two consecutive years, but also failed.

The rector of ITUCE, Dr. Alonso Fernández Oñate in 1976, led a civic movement to convert the institute into a university. In the movement managed to bring together parliamentarians, professionals, civic entities and the municipal and departmental governments; The organizing committee of the movement, entrusted Dr. Jaime Murgas Arzuaga, representative to the chamber, the mission to present the bill to the Congress of the Republic to create the Popular University of Cesar. As actually occurred by Act 34 of November 19 of that year.

The Popular University of Cesar was created "as an autonomous public institution with legal personality whose primary objective will be research and teaching through programs that lead to the obtaining of bachelor's degrees, professional degrees and academic degrees such as that of doctor."

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