Institutions of education, they’re private schools for Sundered-handling. Harry is a perfect product of one: he learned how to handle himself on the black water, how to claim and keep Sundered Ones, and how to handle finances across the various cities.
WARNING: Spoilers from here on out
They were designed by Jason Iskinder. The purpose of the Academies was to ensure only what knowledge was “best” for the survival of humankind would continue.
Of course, humans can’t leave well enough alone, and so they continued to make changes in the generations after they first claimed the Sundered Ones. Harry discovers very quickly that not everything he knows is strictly fact...