The third most populous in the country, with 319,279 inhabitants, Timișoara is the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat. In September 2016, Timișoara was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2021. The city centre largely consists of buildings from the Austrian Empire era. Timișoara is the main educational and academic centre in west of Romania. Timișoara has four public universities and four private universities. The number of students of higher education institutions reached 60,000 in 2015.