Most schools in London are controlled by local authorities, although an increasing number of both primary and secondary schools are self-govern (grant-maintained). London has five City Technology Colleges to promote specialist training either in science and technology or, as with the Brits school in Croydon, in the performing arts. And there is a thriving independent schools sector.
There are 13 universities and 13 higher education colleges with a total of 143,000 students in London. The oldest and largest is the University of London founded in 1836 in Bloomsbury. This has a unique federal structure of colleges and specialist institutions, such as the Schools of Slavonic and East European Studies and of Oriental and African Studies. The reputation of London University's institutions in fields such as business education, engineering, medicine or political science draws students from all over the world.
London has 51 further education and sixth form colleges, offering a range of courses and vocational training. In addition, there are two government-sponsored training schemes, Training for Work, for the long-term unemployed, and Youth Training for school leavers, which are administered by London's eight Training and Enterprise Councils.
London is an important centre of specialist training. The London Institute combines a number of schools of art and design and fashion. The London College of Printing at Elephant and Castle reflects the long history and continuing importance of this trade in the capital. There are also nationally and internationally important schools of architecture, drama and music.
The largest vocational training institution is the City and Guilds of London Institute, founded in 1878. The City and Guilds certificate is a descendant of the apprenticeships formerly served to the London Guilds. It is a recognised vocational qualification both in Britain and abroad. Nearly four million people take City and Guilds examinations each year. To have passed City and Guilds is a sign of competence in one of the many trades, from cookery to plumbing, from engineering to health care, that the Institute covers.

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