Higher education has a long tradition in Cluj-Napoca. The Babeş-Bolyai University (UBB) is the largest in the country, with approximately 50,000 students attending various specialisations in Romanian, Hungarian, German and English. Its name commemorates two important Transylvanian figures, the Romanian physician Victor Babeş and the Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai. The university claims roots as far back as 1581, when a Jesuit college opened in Cluj, but it was in 1872 that emperor Franz Joseph founded the University of Cluj, later renamed the Franz Joseph University (József Ferenc Tudományegyetem). During 1919, immediately after the end of World War I, the university was moved to Budapest, where it stayed until 1921, after which it was moved to the Hungarian city of Szeged. Briefly, it returned to Cluj in the first half of the 1940s, when the city came back under Hungarian administration, but it was again relocated in Szeged, following the reincorporation of Cluj into Romanian territory. The Romanian branch acquired the name Babeş; a Hungarian university, Bolyai, was established in 1945, and the two were merged in 1959. The city also hosts nine other universities, among them the Technical University, the Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, the USAMV, the University of Arts and Design, the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy and other private universities and educational institutes.
The first mention of public education provided in the city dates back to 1409, namely the caption “Caspar notarius et rector scholarum” (“Caspar secretary and director of schools”). Concomitantly, a Catholic school founded during the 14th century also functioned in the city. Today close to 150 pre-university educational institutions operate in Cluj-Napoca, including 62 kindergartens, 30 primary schools and 45 high schools. Their activity is supervised by the County Board for Education. Most schools are taught in Romanian; nonetheless, there are some Hungarian-language schools (Báthory István, Apáczai Csere János and Brassai Sámuel high schools), as well as mixed schools—e.g.George Coşbuc and Onisifor Ghibu high schools with Romanian/German classes and Romanian/Hungarian classes, respectively. Statistics show that 18,208 students were enrolled in the city’s secondary school system during the 1993–94 school year, while a further 7,660 attended one of the 18 professional schools. In the same year, another 37,111 pupils and 9,711 children were registered for primary and pre-school, respectively.