Important dates in Uppsala University history


Pope Sixtus IV's bull (permission letter) to establish a university in Uppsala.
Uppsala University’s charter.

In a bull, issued upon request, at the initiative of Jakob Ulvsson, Pope Sixtus IV gives his permission to establish a university in Uppsala on February 27. On July 2, in Strängnäs, the University’s charter is signed by the Council of the Realm, led by Sten Sture. On September 21 the pope’s bull is ceremoniously inaugurated in Uppsala. On October 7 (St Bridget’s Day) instruction commences at the new University.

1508 Petrus Astronomus lectures on the elements of the theory of the heavens.

1515 Archbishop Jakob Ulvsson leaves his office for reasons of age. The University’s period of decline starts.

1530, ca. Instruction has virtually ceased.

1570s Some instruction underway, initiated by King Johan III.

1593 Decision of the Uppsala Meeting is recorded on March 20. On August 1, Duke Karl and the Council of the Realm issue a document establishing professorships.

1595 On March 15 the University’s new charter is issued by Duke Karl and the Council of the Realm.

1600 On January 22 the University’s first documented degree conferment ceremony in philosophy takes place. One of the University’s scepters employed is still in use today.

1606 The first statutes are adopted.

1617 In connection with the coronation of Gustavus Adolphus the first doctoral conferment ceremony in theology is held.

1620 By royal decree the number of professorships increases dramatically. A University Library is established.

1620s The Gustavianum building is erected.

1622 With a donation from Johan Skytte, the Skytte Professorship in Eloquence and Political Science is established.

1624 The Gustavian hereditary estates, which will be the University’s economic bulwark, are donated by Gustavus Adolphus.

1626 Constitutions, signed by Axel Oxenstierna and regarded as provisional, are issued.

1627 Orchestral activities, the origin of the Royal Academic Orchestra, are started.

1629 The first doctoral conferment ceremony in law takes place.

1640s The first province-based student associations, nations, are formed.

1655 New constitutions are issued.

1660 Olof Rudbeck becomes professor of practical medicine.

1660s Rudbeck establishes the Anatomical Theatre atop the Gustavianum.

1663 Student nations recognised by the University Board. Department of Exercitie (riding, drawing, languages, etc.) established.

1669 Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie donates the Silver Bible to Uppsala University Library.

1681 The first doctoral conferment ceremony in medicine takes place.

1693 The centenary of the Uppsala Meeting is celebrated with a royal visit and grand festivities.

1694 Karl XI donates the Augsburg Art Cabinet to the University.

1702 Uppsala is ravaged by fire.

1708 The Oxenstierna Building on Riddartorget Square becomes the University Hospital, Nosocomium, at the initiative of Lars Roberg.

1710 ‘The Society of the Curious’, later the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala, is founded.

1738 Johan Ihre becomes Skytte professor.

1739 The Estates establish a professorship in economics; the first holder is Anders Berch.

1741 Linnaeus becomes professor of medicine.

1742 Anders Celsius’ studies regarding the thermometer are published.

1744 The first professorship in surgery and anatomy is created.

1750 The first professorship in chemistry is established, with Johan Gottschalk Wallerius as its first holder. In the 1750s a chemical laboratory is built on Västra Ågatan. Samuel Klingenstierna, professor of mathematics, assumes the new professorship in experimental physics.

1753 Linnaeus introduces his nomenclature for plants in Species Plantarum.

1750s Theatrum oeconomico-mechanicum is built at Gamla torget (‘Old square’).

1755 The new Senate Building, ‘Kuggis’, is completed on St. Erik Square.

1767 Torbern Bergman becomes professor of chemistry.

1778 The old main university building, Academia Carolina, situated south of the cathedral, is torn down.

1784 Carl Peter Thunberg becomes the Linnaeus professor.

1787 Gustav III donates parts of the Castle’s park grounds to the University; the Botanical Garden is created.

1792 Students protest against restrictions on the freedom of the press.

1800 New student unrest – the so-called Music Trial – takes place in connection with an academic ceremony.

1804 The Faculty of Medicine confers jubilee doctoral degrees (50th anniversary of receiving a doctorate). This is the first time this is done in Sweden.

1806 Education of the clergy is reformed; Samuel Ödmann becomes director of the seminary.

1807 Linneanum in the Botanical Garden is inaugurated.

1808 J.C.F. Hæffner becomes director musices. Uppsala student singing emerges.

1809 Benjamin Höijer becomes professor of philosophy.

1817 Erik Gustaf Geijer becomes professor of history. Östgöta Nation is the first student nation to acquire its own building, in a reconstruction of the Orangery in the Linnean Gardens.

1819 Prince Oscar’s name day is celebrated with major festivities and great rapture, an expression of students’ new royalist sympathies.

1830 Parliament decides to allocate funds to the University, which until then had largely survived on the yield from its own properties.

1834 Elias Fries becomes the holder of the Borgström endowed professorship (in practice in botany).

1839 Distinction of Honorary Master (later Honorary Doctor) introduced, at the initiative of P.D.A. Atterbom.

1840 The Faculty of Law is overhauled with new professorships.

1841 The new University Library, Carolina Rediviva, is opened.

1842 Christopher Jacob Boström becomes professor of practical philosophy.

1843 The first Scandinavianist student manifestation takes place in Uppsala.

1849 Uppsala Student Union is founded.

1849–51 Gunnar Wennerberg’s song cycle Gluntarne (The Freshmen) is published.

1850 Anatomicum is completed by the Iceland Bridge.

1852 New statutes are adopted. The University’s unique jurisdiction over its employees and students ends. The famous student song ‘Sjung om studentens lyckliga dag’ (Sing of the Carefree Days of the Student), by Prince Gustaf and Herman Sätherberg, is premiered at a student concert.

1853 The new astronomical observatory in Fjärdingen opens.

1858 Anders Ångström becomes professor of physics.

1859 The old Kemicum Building on the English Park is inaugurated.

1862 The old student matriculation diploma (studentexamen) to study at the University is replaced by a maturity diploma (mogenhetsexamen) issued by upper-secondary schools. Professor Carl Benedict Mesterton performs the first caesarian section at the University Hospital, then situated in the old History Department Building.

1867 The new University Hospital is opened.

1870 New degree statutes adopted for philosophy. Old Master’s degree replaced by doctor of philosophy degree.

1872 Betty Pettersson registers at the University as its first woman student.

1876 New University statutes are added. Carl Yngve Sahlin assumes the office of Vice Chancellor, the first to be truly elected.

1877 The 400th anniversary of the University is celebrated in a stately manner, with Viktor Rydberg’s Cantata, among other things.

1883 Ellen Fries becomes the first woman in Sweden to receive a degree of doctor of philosophy, having defended a dissertation in history.

1885 Harald Hjärne becomes professor of history.

1887 The Main University Building is inaugurated. The first study handbook is published by the student association Verdandi. The so-called probity debate takes place in Verdandi. Adolf Noreen becomes professor of Scandinavian languages.

1888 John Börjeson’s statue of Geijer is unveiled in front of the Main University Building. The student association Verdandi’s pamphlets begin to be published.

1891 Obligatory seminars are introduced in all humanities subjects. The student association Heimdal is founded.

1892 Uppsala Women’s Student Association is formed.

1893 At a grand jubilee festival, Alfred Nobel is one of those awarded an honorary doctorate. Adjunct John Björkén dies. His wills his fortune to Uppsala University to reward academic excellence (the Björkén Prize).

1894 The Vocational School for Home Economics, later incorporated in Uppsala University, is started by J A Lundell and Ida Norrby.

1898 Henrik Schück becomes professor of aesthetics, literature, and history of art.

1901 Nathan Söderblom, later archbishop, becomes a professor at the Faculty of Theology.

1901 The student association Laboremus is founded.

1907 The University celebrates the bicentenary of the birth of Linnaeus. Selma Lagerlöf is the first woman to be awarded an honorary doctorate. A new degree statute, creating the fil. ämbetsexamen (filosofie magister), is adopted. The Order of Juvenal, which flourished in Gunnar Wennerberg’s days as a student, is reconstituted.

1908 New University statutes are added. The scope of the Board is limited.

1909 All temporary professorships are converted into regular professorships. The Students’ Gymnastics and Sports Institution is opened.

1910 Hugo Alfvén becomes director musices.

1911 Axel Hägerström becomes professor of practical philosophy. Allvar Gullstrand, professor of ophthalmiatrics, receives the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine. The Faculty of Theology confers its first doctorate based on dissertation work.

1912 The Svedberg becomes professor of physical chemistry.

1913 Oscar Almgren is appointed professor of Nordic and comparative archaeology.

1914 Political strife among students is expressed in the form of heated debates during "the political spring term." Vilhelm Lundstedt becomes a professor at the Faculty of Law. Claes Annerstedt completes his history of the University.

1916 New University statutes are added.

1920 Work starts to restore the Linnean Garden on Svartbäcksgatan following a long period of decay.

1922 Manne Siegbahn becomes professor of physics.

1923 Swedish women gain access to government positions that require academic degrees. Axel Brusewitz becomes Skytte professor.

1924 Manne Siegbahn receives the Nobel Prize.

1925 The Sture Monument is inaugurated after several decades of discussion.

1926 The Svedberg receives the Nobel Prize.

1927 In connection with the 450th anniversary of the University, the archbishop confers doctoral degrees in theology appointed by the king for the last time.

1928 Robin Fåhræus becomes professor of pathological anatomy.

1930 The first student housing, ‘Gubbhyllan’ (‘Fellows’ Shelf’) on Övre Slottsgatan, is completed.

1931 H S Nyberg becomes professor of Semitic languages.

1932 Tercentenary of the death of Gustavus Adolphus, for which the Hall of State in the Castle is restored and used. The subject of history of science and ideas is created with Johan Nordström as the first professor.

1933 The High Voltage Institute at Husbyborg comes into use.

1934 Gregor Paulsson becomes professor of history of art and theory of art.

1935 Annual joint doctoral conferment ceremonies become the rule. Doctoral hats are introduced.

1939 For the first time the Walpurgis Eve address at Castle Hill is given by a woman, the Vice President of the Student Union, Eva Wennerström (-Hartmann).

1941 A first step toward student influence on university education is taken, as each faculty establishes an instructional board that must regularly consult with representatives of ‘academic youth’.

1943 Uppsala students demonstrate against Nazi attacks on Oslo University.

1945 Revitalisation of research and education after the war is prepared. 1945 Higher Education Task Force.

1948 Arne Tiselius receives the Nobel Prize.

1949 Gerd Enequist, a geographer, becomes the first woman professor at Uppsala University.

1950 With the retirement of archbishop Erling Eidem, the office of Pro-Chancellor at Uppsala University is eliminated.

1952 Increased housing construction for students. Studentstaden is started.

1953 New degree statute for philosophy.

1955 Educational overhaul of higher education is prepared. 1955 Higher Education Task Force.

1956 New University statutes. Departments mentioned officially for first time. Faculty of Philosophy is divided into a Faculty of Arts and a Faculty of Science and Technology.

1963 Allmänna Sången becomes a mixed choir, with both male and female singers.

1964 New University statute. University Administration expands. Office of Administrative Director established. The Faculty of Social Sciences is separated from the Faculty of Arts. For the first time political Student Union parties are active in the management elections.

1967 The extension in Örebro, later a university, opens.

1968 The Institute of Pharmacy in Stockholm is moved and becomes the Faculty of Pharmacy at Uppsala University.

1969 Reforms in undergraduate education are adopted; PUKAS with set curricula, educational ‘lines’ (programs), a credit system, and syllabi. Experiments with new forms of collaboration give students increased influence. Reformed research-level education decided. Requirements for doctorate revised.

1970 Teknikum premises completed.

1971 The last formal tie between the Church of Sweden and the University is dissolved when the representation of the Faculty of Theology in the Cathedral Chapter is discontinued.

1974 Construction starts on building on Luthagsgärdet for languages and social sciences.

1977 New higher education reform. The Higher Education Ordinance takes effect on July 1, with competition for some student places, more professional orientation, regional boards, and major organisational changes for the University. Various forms of teacher training are integrated with the University.

2012 Eva Åkesson becomes Uppsala University’s first female Vice-Chancellor.

Last modified: 2021-04-30