UFC was created by the Brazilian federal government in 1955 and is under the Ministry of Education. The University was created as the result of great public debate, which had begun on 1949. The main character of this movement was Antônio Martins Filho, an intellectual who became the first director of the recently created "Universidade do Ceará" ('University of Ceará'). The University itself was created by Law #2.373, ratified on December 1954 and began to function on June 25, 1955. Its implementation was owed to the union of the several higher education institutes then present in the city of Fortaleza: the School of Agronomy, the Law College of Ceara, the Medicine College and the Pharmacy & Odontology College. Today, the University consists of four centers of basic science and education and five professional colleges, and is one of the most respected universities of Brazil.