Welcoming number of universities and other higher education institutions, London has about 378,000 students and is a major center for research and development. Most primary and secondary schools in London comply the English education system.
With 125,000 students, the University of London is the largest university in the UK and Europe. It consists of 20 colleges and numerous institutes, each with considerable autonomy in awarding diplomas. Colleges such as UCL, King’s, QMUL and Royal Holloway or more specialized institutions such as Imperial College, the London School of Economics, SOAS, the Royal Academy of Music and the Institute of Education, have their own admission procedure and are wholly owned universities although the diplomas are issued by the University of London. In 2007, Imperial College officially left the federation of the University of London at the time of the celebration of its centenary and deliver its own diplomas. Several other universities are currently evaluating the possibility to award their own degrees while remaining within the federation.
Other universities based in London, such as the City University, Brunel University, London Metropolitan University, Middlesex University, UEL, the University of Westminster and London South Bank University, are not part of London University. Some were technical institutes that were granted university status by the Further and Higher Education Act in 1992. London is also renowned for its training in trade and business with the London Business School, Cass Business School or the French origin business school ESCP Europe, which installed its London campus in the Hampstead area.
London also hosts many museums that are one of the attractions of the city but also participate in the research. The Natural History Museum, Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum are all three together in the “museum district” in South Kensington, while the British Museum brings together historical collections worldwide. The British Library, which is located in the St Pancras district is the national library of the United Kingdom, hosting more than 150 million books. The city also houses many art collections, primarily in the National Gallery, the Tate Britain or Tate Modern.