Stockholm University

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Stockholm University
Stockholms universitet
Established 1878
Type Public
President Prof. Astrid Söderbergh Widding
Academic staff
3354 (2013)[1]
Administrative staff
Students 66,944(All), 29 448(FTE)(2013)[1]
1834 (2012) [2]
Location Sweden Stockholm, Sweden
Campus Urban
Affiliations EUA
File:Formal Logo of Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sverige.svg

Stockholm University (Swedish: Stockholms universitet) is the state university of Stockholm, Sweden. Stockholm University has two scientific fields: the natural sciences and the humanities/social sciences. With over 70,000 students at four different faculties, law, humanities, the mathematical and natural sciences, it is one of the largest universities in Scandinavia. The institution is regarded as one of the top 100 universities in the world by both the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE) - whereas, in the QS World University Rankings, the SU is among the 200 universities in the world.[3] Stockholm University was granted university status in 1960, making it the fourth oldest Swedish university. Stockholm University's primary mission is to provide education and high quality research for the betterment of the Swedish community.[4]


The initiative for the formation of Stockholm University was taken by the Stockholm City Council. The process was completed after a decision in December 1865 regarding the establishment of a fund and a committee to "establish a higher education institution in the capital".[5] The nine members of the Committee were respected and prominent citizens whose work have helped the evolution of science and society.[6]

The next important step was taken in October 1869, when the Stockholm University College Association was established.[7] Several members of the committee became members of the association - including Professor Pehr Henrik Malmsten.[8] The association's mission was to establish a university in Stockholm and would "not be dissolved until college came into being and its future could be secured." The memorandum of the Stockholm University College were adopted in May 1877, and in the autumn semester of the following year, actual operations began.

In 1878, the university college Stockholms högskola started its operations with a series of lectures on natural sciences, open to curious citizens (a tradition still upheld by yearly publicly open lectures). Notable in the university's early history is the appointment of Sofia Kovalevskaya to hold a chair in mathematics department in 1889, making her the third female professor in Europe. In 1904 the college became an official degree granting institution.

In 1960, the college was granted university status, becoming Sweden's fourth state university. The university premises were situated in central Stockholm at Observatorielunden but increased enrollment resulted in a lack of space, which required the university campus to be shifted to a bigger facility. Since 1970 most of the university operations are pursued at the main campus at Frescati north of the city center.


Stockholm University is a state agency and is governed by the decisions coming from the government and parliament. The University has the right, within the limits the government provides, to decide on many issues such as their internal organization, educational, admission of students and other administrative functions of the university.

Intra-university bodies

  • The University Board is the University's highest governing body. The board is responsible for the University as a government agency 's mission and for following the requirements of laws and regulations. The board reports to the government. It consists of eight external members (including the Chairman and Vice-Chairman), four business representatives from the university with two group alternates and three student representatives (one graduate student representative) with an alternate. The University board is above the principal who is the head of the authority and have operational responsibility for all operations. The principal has a vice president to replace him/her if necessary.
  • At the university, there are two area councils, Area board of science and Area board of humanities, law and social sciences. They are headed by a vice principal. The area boards are responsible for strategic planning of education and research, coordination of faculty teaching, research and internal and external collaboration.
  • After the district councils, the faculty boards are the highest decision-making bodies at the faculty level. The faculty boards consists of the dean, the assistant dean, other business representatives and student representatives. The deans are appointed by the president after proposal by choice within the faculty.
  • After faculties, decisions are taken on the institutional level, where each department has a department head who manage and make decisions together with the institutional board.
  • The University administration is the preparation and service organization for the University board, principals and other decision-making bodies, and it is led by the executive director. The University administration has a number of administrative units in charge of different parts of the university administration, for example, finance department, IT department, HR department and the student section. There are also three staff units: The strategy, planning and communication unit that will help the university management with decision making.
  • The Permanent Secretary is the most senior official at Stockholm University and decide on including university administration's organization and finances. The permanent secretary is titulated University Director.

Departments, institutes and centers

Education and research at Stockholm University is carried out within the natural sciences and the humanities/social sciences. Within these fields, there are four faculties with 70 departments, institutes and centers within the humanities, law, natural sciences and social sciences. Research and training also takes place at a number of centers and institutes with a separate governing board, but that organisationally belong to a department.[9]

Courses and Programmes

At Stockholm University, there are 200 Bachelor's programmes and 1,900 courses to choose from.[10]


The university researchers engage in governmental investigations, participates in the media, leaving comments on proposed legislation and is included in several Nobel committees and international expert bodies.[11]

Field stations

Askö Laboratory

Stockholm University Marine Research center (SMF) provides "Askö Laboratory". Research on ecosystems, ecology and the impact of human interference is carried out here. The field station was built in 1961 by Professor Lars Silén, Prefect of the Department of Zoology, and is now established as a renowned marine research center.[12]


Tarfala research station belongs to the Department of Physical Geography at Stockholm University. The station is located 1135 meters above sea in Tarfaladalen, on the east side of Kebnekaise in arctic / alpine surroundings. Here, glaciological, hydrological, meteorological and climatological research is conducted. The station has the capacity to accommodate groups up to 25 people and the staff consists of 2-5 people.[13]


Tovetorp Zoological Research Station belongs to the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University, and is located about 95 km southwest of Stockholm. It conducts research and training activities in ecology and ethology. Every year Tovetorp is visited of up to 600 students who live and study between 2–10 days on the station. On the research side, over 20 people work today with different research projects. The number of employees are currently 6 people.[14]

Student unions

Prior to 2008, Stockholm University had only one student union called Stockholm University Student Union (Stockholm universitets studentkår, SUS). However, as of 2008 the computer and system science students[15] and the teacher students have their own, independent, student unions called DISK and "The Teacher's College's Student Union" (Lärarhögskolans studentkår). The law students also have their own student union, as do journalism students (Studentkåren vid JMK).

The future of the Teacher's College's Student Union is however not entirely safe, as Stockholm University's Student Union has declared it will begin talks with the Teacher's College's Student Union on transferring its members to it, as it already has a teacher's division. In contrast to common belief, DISK is not an abbreviation.[16]

Notable people

Nobel Prize Laureates
Selected alumni and researchers



Politics and society

Entertainment and art


University rankings
ARWU[21] 78[18]
Times[22] 98[20]
QS[23] 182[19]
Times[24] 43

In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014, an annual publication of university rankings by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy/Academic Ranking of World Universities, Stockholm University was placed as the 78th overall best university worldwide (2013: 82).[18]

The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2014-2015 listed Stockholm University at position 98[20] on the list of the world’s top universities. Times Higher Education World University Rankings are annual university rankings published by British Times Higher Education (THE) magazine.

In the QS World University Rankings,[19] Stockholm University was ranked 182 overall in the world in 2014. Whereas, in the 2013 Stockholm University was ranked 170th overall in the world. Its subject rankings were: 81st in Arts & Humanities, 168th in Life Sciences & Biomedicine, 69th in Natural Sciences, and 65th in Social Sciences.

In the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2014,[25] Stockholm University was placed at 140 on the list of universities in the world.

The Campus

The main part of Stockholm University is in the area Frescati, ranging from Bergius Botanical Garden in the north to Sveaplan in the south. It is located in the world's first national urban park and the area is characterized by nature, architecture and modern art. Within Frescati, the areas Albano (Stockholm), Bergius Botanical Garden, Frescati Backe, Frescati Hage, Kräftriket, Lilla Frescati and Sveaplan are located. Identification of many of these areas have a history dating back to the late 1700s. After Gustav III's trip to Italy in 1783-84, several places at Brunnsviken were named after Italian models. Stockholm University has also, for example the Department of computer and systems sciences, located in Kista.[26]

Public transportation to Stockholm University

There are many ways to get to Stockholm University, the main campus Frescati is located near the underground railway station Universitetet metro station, on the red line of the Stockholm Metro. The commuter train line Roslagsbanan also stop close to the main campus, at Universitetet railway station. SL buses 40, 70, 540, 608 and 670 can also be used to get to the campus.

The Computer Science campus, Kista, also is close to an underground station called Kista. It is also located close to the pendeltåg station Helenelund, only 1-2 stops (depending on bus line) from the bus station Torsnäsgatan located next to the campus area.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 University in figures
  2. Stockholms universitet: Uppföljning av verksamhetsplan 2012
  3. top 200
  4. Högskolelagen 1 kap §2 (1992:1434)(Swedish)
  5. Thomasson, Carl-Gustaf, Stockholms högskolas matrikel 1878-1887. Stockholm 1969, sid. 52
  6. Engström, Eric, Stockholms högskolas gynnare. Givare och donatorer under högskolans uppbyggnadsskede. Uppsats, pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet (årtal?)
  7. Nordisk familjebok, Uggleupplagan 27, Stockholm Nynäs järnväg - Syrsor: Stockholms högskola, 1918
  8. Svensk Uppslagsbok: Stockholms högskola, Baltiska förlaget A.-B., Lund: 1929
  10. Courses and programmes
  12. Facts Askölaboratoriet
  13. Tarfala Research station
  14. Tovetorp research station: startpage (in swedish)
  16. Disk - Organisation
  17. "Karin Kock". Kvinnor i arbete (in svenska). Gothenburg University. Retrieved 21 November 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1
  19. 19.0 19.1
  20. 20.0 20.1
  21. "Academic Ranking of World Universities: Global". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "World University Rankings 2015-2016". Times Higher Education. 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "QS World University Rankings® 2015/16". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Top European universities". The Times Higher Education. 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Facts regarding the campus

External links

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