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Education, science and Technology in Bristol

Bristol is home to two major institutions of higher education: the University of Bristol, a "redbrick" chartered in 1909, and the University of the West of England, formerly Bristol Polytechnic, which gained university status in 1992.

The city also has two dedicated further education institutions, City of Bristol College and Filton College, and three theological colleges, Trinity College, Wesley College and Bristol Baptist College. The city has 129 infant, junior and primary schools, secondary schools, and three city learning centres. It has the country's second highest concentration of independent school places, after an exclusive corner of north London.[205] The independent schools in the city include Colston's School, Clifton College, Clifton High School, Badminton School, Bristol Cathedral School, Bristol Grammar School, Redland High School, Queen Elizabeth's Hospital (the only all-boys school) and Red Maids' School, which claims to be the oldest girls' school in England, having been founded in 1634 by John Whitson.

In 2005, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer recognised Bristol's ties to science and technology by naming it one of six "science cities", and promising funding for further development of science in the city, with a £300 million science park planned at Emerson's Green. As well as research at the two universities, Bristol Royal Infirmary, and Southmead Hospital, science education is important in the city, with At-Bristol, Bristol Zoo, Bristol Festival of Nature and the Create Centre being prominent local institutions involved in science communication. The city has a history of scientific luminaries, including the 19th-century chemist Sir Humphry Davy, who worked in Hotwells. Bishopston gave the world Nobel Prize winning physicist Paul Dirac for crucial contributions to quantum mechanics in 1933. Cecil Frank Powell was Melvill Wills Professor of Physics at Bristol University when he was awarded the Nobel prize for a photographic method of studying nuclear processes and associated discoveries in 1950. The city was birth place of Colin Pillinger, planetary scientist behind the Beagle 2 Mars-lander project, and is home to the psychologist Richard Gregory. Initiatives such as the Flying Start Challenge help encourage secondary school pupils around the Bristol area to take an interest in Science and Engineering. Links with major aerospace companies promote technical disciplines and advance students' understanding of practical design.
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