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In 1990, Australia reorganised its higher education system by abolishing the binary system of universities and colleges of advanced education.
Under this transition, the university merged with Queensland Agricultural College, to establish the new UQ Gatton campus.
Opinion was mobilised, a fund was started and a draft bill for a Queensland university was prepared.
Stress was laid on the practical aspects of university education and its importance for the commerce of Queensland.
In the same year, the pitch drop experiment was started by Thomas Parnell.
The experiment has been described as the world's oldest and continues to this day.
Education generally was given a low priority in Queensland's budgets, and in a colony with a literacy rate of 57% in 1861, primary education was the first concern well ahead of secondary and technical education.Those against a university argued that technical rather than academic education was more important in an economy dominated by primary industry.Those in favour of the university, in the face of this opposition, distanced themselves from Oxford and Cambridge and proposed instead a model derived from the mid-western states of the United States.Over recent decades, UQ has produced notable alumni across a range of professions, including Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine Peter C.Doherty, Triple Crown of Acting winner Geoffrey Rush, triple Grammy Award winner Tim Munro, and the presidents of General Electric-Europe, Dow Chemical, King's College London and University of California, San Francisco.
Additionally, UQ offers international programs that include the Wharton Global Consulting Practicum and a joint postgraduate law program with Washington University.