The University of Orlais in Val Royeaux is one of the oldest universities in Thedas. It is a major center of learning that attracts young nobles from all over Thedas as it provides some of the best education one can buy. The university is a relatively modern institution, whose liberal-minded professors have clashed with religious conservatives over the content of their classes. In theory it is open to nobles and also commoners who have proper sponsorship from an appropriate member of the nobility. Currently it is headed by Chancelier Morrac. The University contains a Chantry for the use of students and faculty.
By decree of Divine Renata I, any Chantry art in Orlais depicting elves has been destroyed save a single mural of Shartan. A reproduction of this mural is depicted at this university, albeit with shartan's ears cropped. This was the Divine's sole concession.
Fearing that religious and political pressure might hinder the University's capacity for innovation and research, Empress Celene has made a concerted effort to ensure that the University is free of any such constraining interests. 
In recent years Celene has been strongly encouraging the university to overlook the lack of status & rank for certain individuals who show prodigious talent or potential which could help further the interests and prestige of the Orlesian Empire, provided a noble sponsors them. Most recently this has even extended to Celene personally interceding in support an elven math prodigy, Lennan, who was sponsored by Comtesse Helene.