The Yuelu Academy is located on the east side of Yuelu Mountain in Changsha, the capital of Hunan , China, on the west bank of the Xiang River.
It was founded in 976, the 9th year of the Song Dynasty under the reign of Emperor Kaibao, and was one of four most renowned Shuyuan .
The renowned Zhu Xi and Zhang Shi both lectured at the academy.
In 1903 the academy became a university, and in 1926 it was officially named Hunan University.
As one of the four most prestigious academies over the last 1000 years in China, Yuelu Academy has been a famous institution of higher learning as well as a centre of academic activities and cultures since it was formally set up in 976 . The Academy, which has survived the Song, , and dynasties, was converted into Hunan Institute of Higher Learning in 1903. It was later renamed Hunan Normal College, Hunan Public Polytechnic School, and finally Hunan University in 1926.
The academy has witnessed more than a thousand years of history and is the only one of the ancient Chinese academies of Classical Learning to have evolved into a modern institution of higher learning. The historical transformation from Yuelu Academy to Hunan University can be seen as the epitome of the development of China's higher education, a change which mirrors the vicissitudes of . As a part of Hunan University, today the academy is a center of publication and research of the ancient Chinese language, and is one of the most important academic and centers in China.