Stockholm University

Stockholm University
Stockholms universitet
Type Public university
Established 1878
(University status since 1960)
President Prof. Astrid Söderbergh Widding
Academic staff
3354 (2013)[1]
Administrative staff
1578 (2013)[1]
Students 66,944 (All), 29 448 (FTE) (2013)[1]
1834 (2012) [2]
Location Sweden Stockholm, Sweden
Campus Urban
Affiliations EUA

Stockholm University (Swedish: Stockholms universitet) is a public university in Stockholm, Sweden, founded as a college in 1878, with university status since 1960. 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 the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), while the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE) place the SU among the top 200 universities in the world.[3]

Stockholm University was granted university status in 1960, making it the fourth oldest Swedish university. As with other public universities in Sweden, Stockholm University's mission includes teaching and research anchored in society at large.[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

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


As of September 2016
University rankings
ARWU[18] 81
Times[19] 136
QS[20] 196
Times[21] 64

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).[22]

The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2015-2016 listed Stockholm University at position 136[23] 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,[24] 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, a campus 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 2 3 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 Swedish). Gothenburg University. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  18. "Academic Ranking of World Universities: Global". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  19. "World University Rankings 2016-2017". Times Higher Education. 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  20. "QS World University Rankings 2016/17". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  21. "Best universities in Europe 2017". The Times Higher Education. 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  22. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  26. Facts regarding the campus
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Coordinates: 59°21′55″N 18°03′30″E / 59.36528°N 18.05833°E / 59.36528; 18.05833

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