The history of the academic higher education in Cluj is closely related to the evolution of the city on river Someș. The beginnings of local academic life go down to the 16th century. In 1578, Prince of Transylvania Ștefan Báthory requested permission from Pope Gregory XIII to establish a Jesuit college in Cluj. The Diploma founding the Major Jesuit College in Cluj was issued by Ștefan Báthory on May 12, 1581, in Vilna (today Vilnius in Lithuania).
In 1753, Empress Maria Theresa raised the Collegium Claudiopolitanum to the rank of University Academic College. After the dissolution of the Jesuit Order in 1773 the University Academic College in Cluj went under the piarists.
At the end of World War I, following the unification of Transylvania with Romania and the creation of Greater Romania, King Ferdinand I stipulated in September 12, 1919 „the transformation of Royal Hungarian Franz Joseph University in Romanian university beginning October 1, 1919”.
Since 1995 a decision was taken to organize a multicultural university; thus the three major lines of study were created on linguistic criteria: the Romanian line of study, Hungarian line of study, German line of study.
Since the 2006-2007 academic year Babeș-Bolyai University has been operating in a system of 21 faculties. The teaching and research infrastructure has also underwent a substantial development in recent decades. Contacts and collaborations with prestigious academies and universities worldwide were resumed, strong networks of teaching and research were created and numerous scientific cooperation projects were conducted (see the virtual tour here).