Guardians of Korvosa
The Acadamae is the premier school of Spellcasting in Korvosa (if not Varisia as a whole), rivaling the grand universities of Cheliax itself. Based in an enormous walled complex, the school specializes in all schools of arcane magic, but focuses heavily on Conjuration. In order to graduate, one must successfully summon and bind a creature; preferably a devil.
A degree from the Acadamae takes ten years to earn, but only seven of those years are spent studying magic. The first three are spent in a form of indentured servitude to the school, in which students learn nothing of the arcane arts. Most perish during this period, and are sent to the school's Hall of Whispers for necromantic experiments. This grim fate also applies to anyone who would attempt to drop out or fail the course. Graduation carries with it both prestige and great magical power, however.
The Breaching Festival
Every year, the Abjuration Department challenges guests to try and breach the Hall of Wards. Setting foot inside of it at all will result in the victor winning an untold among of gold. None have succeeded so far.
The biggest rival to the Acadamae is the Thaumanexus College, a smaller (but much less sinister) academy that specializes in generalist spellcasting. The Twilight Academy in nearby Galduria specializes in the Occult arts, such as psychic magic. The University of Korvosa is the third major learning institution, but focuses on mundane subjects such as history and philosophy.