The University of the Philippines (UP; Filipino: Unibersidad ng Pilipinas or Pamantasan ng Pilipinas) is a public university system in the Philippines. Founded by the American colonial government on June 18, 1908, it was originally a university conceived for theFilipinos. Act No. 1870 of the 1st Philippine Legislature was signed to establish UP to provide "advanced instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences and arts, and to give professional and technical training" to eligible students regardless of "age, sex, nationality, religious belief and political affiliation". UP has institutional autonomy as the country's national university as mandated by Republic Act No. 9500 (UP Charter of 2008).
The University of the Philippines has 7 constituent universities (CUs), 1 autonomous college and 4 basic education schools located in 15 campuses across the country. The first UP opened in Manila in 1909 with the Colleges of Fine Arts, and Medicine and Surgery; UP Los Baños was also initiated as the UP College of Agriculture in the same year. 5 other constituent universities have since been established; the latest since 2002 is UP Baguio, despite being formed 41 years earlier (in 1961). UP Diliman, the fourth CU which was established in 1949, is the flagship campus and seat of administration of the University of the Philippines.
UP, as a whole, is often cited as the Philippines' top university. As of 2012, 7Philippine Presidents, 13 Chief Justices of the Philippine Supreme Court, 36 National Scientists and 40 National Artists of the Philippines have been affiliated with UP. It has also produced 15,000 doctors, 15,000 engineers, 8,000 lawyers, 23,000 teachers, and thousands of graduates in other academic fields, which comprise some of its approximate 260,000 living alumni worldwide. UP has the most National Centers of Excellence and Development among higher education institutions in the country, and is one of the only three schools in Asia that have received institutional recognition in the Ramon Magsaysay Awards. Senate Resolution No. 276 of the Senate of the Philippines recognizes the institution as "the nation's premier university"; United Kingdom-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) places UP as the country's No. 1 university in its annual university rankings.