Taixue (Tai-hsueh; simplified Chinese: 太学; traditional Chinese: 太學; literally: 'Greatest Study or Learning'), or sometimes called the "Imperial Academy", "Imperial School", "Imperial University" or "Imperial Central University", was the highest rank of educational establishment in Ancient China between the Han Dynasty and Sui Dynasty. The university held 30,000 students and administration during the 2nd century. This provided the Han Dynasty with well-educated bureaucrats. It was replaced by the Guozijian. The first nationwide government school system in China was established in 3 CE under Emperor Ping of Han, with the Taixue located in the capital of Chang'an and local schools established in the prefectures and in the main cities of the smaller counties.
Taixue taught Confucianism and Chinese literature among other things for the high level civil service, although a civil service system based upon examination rather than recommendation was not introduced until the Sui and not perfected until the Song Dynasty (960–1279).
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- Yuan, Zheng. "Local Government Schools in Sung China: A Reassessment," History of Education Quarterly (Volume 34, Number 2; Summer 1994): 193–213.
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