The Imperial Academy (Guozijian in Chinese) was the national central institute of learning in ancient Chinese dynasties. It was the highest institute of learning in China’s traditional educational system. Emperors in imperial China would also frequently visit the Guozijian to read Confucian classics to thousands of students.
The Guozijian was first built in 1306 during the 24th year of Zhiyuan Reign of the Yuan Dynasty, and was reconstructed and renovated on a large scale during Yongle and Zhengtong reigns of the Ming Dynasty.
The administrative officials of Guozijian were called Chief (祭酒, Jìjiǔ), Dean of Studies (司業, Sīyè), or Proctor (監丞, Jiānchéng). The students who studied at the Guozijian were called “Jiansheng” (監生, Jiànshēng), and they mainly studied the Confucian classics.