When the Imperial University, created by the law of 10 May 1806, was organised by the decree of 17 March 1808, the body of teachers in the five faculties: Catholic & Protestant Theology, Law, Medicine, Science, Arts - numbered only about 200 in the whole of the French empire.This number only increased very slowly during the C19 and it is only from 1880 that Higher Education became an important Public Service, with the faculties being grouped, under the terms of the law of 10 July 1896, into universities under the control of each académie (education authority). [Excerpt].
Neveu, Bruno (2002) "French University Dress: Regulations and Custom," Transactions of the Burgon Society: Vol. 2.
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