Imperial College Chinese Name- Guozijian

The Chinese Imperial College was the highest institute of higher education in the country and is famously known as Guozijan. This national institution was established after the Sui dynasty during the reign of Emperor Yang of Sui. The Imperial College was established to train talent for the ruling class in ancient China.

What guozijian meaning?

chinese guozijian
chinese guozijian

Guozijan translated as the national academy or Imperial College was the central institution of higher learning in ancient Chinese dynasties. This was the peak of higher learning in the Chinese Traditional education system. It harbored both academic research and learning for students who pursued higher learning in the country. The college was located in every capital city of each dynasty, most notably in Kaifeng and Chang’an cities. The Guozijan remains a vital heritage in Chinese culture.

What guozijian history

The Imperial College, also known as Guozijian was established after the Sui dynasty of 581 to 618 CE. The institution was at the highest level of higher learning and carried out educational administrative functions in the Chinese Traditional education system. Before being named Guozijian, the institution was called Taixue, which translated to Imperial University.

 Noble students of the Chinese dynasties attended the Guozixue. The Taixue dates back to as early as 3 Ce before Emperor Ping of the Han dynasty established a central school that was called Guozijan. After the Ming dynasty took over, the emperor promoted the study of math, calligraphy, law, and archery at this institution. 1905 saw the shutdown of Guozijian and its replacement by the Imperial Capital University of Peking.

Where guozijian is from

guozijian pailou archway
guozijian pailou archway

Each capital of each Chinese dynasty had its own Gouzijian. When the Ming Dynasty took over, the institution was located in Nanjing. This reign saw the establishment of two guozijian institutions, and the other location was in Beijing.

The Nanjing location later became the University of Nanjing. When the Wing dynasty rose to power, the sole location of the guozijian was in Beijing. During the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, the institution remained in Beijing, on Guozijian Street. This was the last version of the institution before it became Peking University. The Ming dynasty saw the development of most Guozijian constructions in history.

Who created the first imperial university in China?

guozijian hutong street
guozijian hutong street

The first Imperial University was established by Emperor Wu of Sima Yan from 236 to 290, during the Jin Dynasty of 265 to 317 Ce. During the reign of emperor Hui from 259 to 307, the institution only took noble children of 5th rank officials and higher. The colleges were government-sponsored, and teachers were picked among the learned officials known as Boshi or doctors.


The Imperial College laid the foundation of traditional Chinese higher education. It is estimated to have been established as early as the Han Dynasty and continued expanding throughout all the dynasties until it was replaced by a western educational system in 1905. The students who attended this college were called Boshi disciples, which is the modern-day college students.

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