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Lund University

Lund University is a university in Sweden and one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe. It is located in Lund in the province of Skania, Sweden. Its roots probably go back to 1425, when a Franciscan general studio was founded in Lund near Lund Cathedral. After Sweden had won over Denmark under the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, the university was officially founded in 1666 on the site of an old studio of generals next to Lund Cathedral.

The University of Lund has eight faculties with additional campuses in Malmö and Helsingborg with 40,000 students in 270 different programs and 1300 independent courses. The University has about 600 partner universities in almost 70 countries and is a member of the European Research Universities League as well as of the global Universitas 21 network. The University of Lund is consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world.

Two main facilities for material research are located at Lund University: MAX IV, a synchrotron radiation laboratory, opened in June 2016, and European Spallation Source (ESS), a new European facility that will provide up to 100 times brighter neutron rays than existing facilities to date, will open in 2023.

The university is located in Lundagård Park, adjacent to Lundagård Cathedral, with different departments located in different parts of the city, but mainly concentrated in a belt stretching north of the park and connecting to the university hospital area, and continuing on the northeast edge of the city, where the large campus of the Engineering Department is located.

Medieval origins

The city of Lund has a long history as a centre of learning and was the church centre and residence of the Danish Archbishop. The Cathedral School (Kathedralskolan) for training clergy was founded in 1085 and today is the oldest school in Scandinavia.

The history of the university dates back to 1425, when the Franciscan Generale Studio (Medieval University) was founded near Lund Cathedral (Bachelor's degree was obtained in 1438), which made it the oldest higher education institution in Scandinavia, followed by the Studia Generalia in Uppsala in 1477 and Copenhagen in 1479. After Sweden had beaten Denmark by the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, the university was founded in 1666 on the site of an old studio of generals next to Lund Cathedral. The studio general did not survive the Lutheran Reformation of 1536, so the university is considered a separate institution when it was founded in 1666.

Lund University

17-19th century

After the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, the lands of Scania were taken over by the Swedish Crown, which in 1666 founded a university to make Scania Swedish by teaching Swedish language teachers and to culturally integrate the Scania region with Sweden. The university was named Academia Carolina after Swedish King Charles X Gustaf until the end of the 19th century, when Lund University became a widespread denomination. It was the fifth university under the Swedish king, after Uppsala University (1477), University of Tartu (1632, now in Estonia), Obo Academy (1640, now in Finland) and Greifswald University (founded in 1456; Swedish 1648-1815, now in Germany).

At the time of its foundation, the University had four faculties: Law, Theology, Medicine and Philosophy. They were the cornerstones of the system, and for over 200 years the system was in place. By the end of the 17th century, the number of students had grown by about 100. Some famous professors in the early years were Samuel Pufendorf, historian of law, and Kanutus Khan and Christian Papke in the field of philosophy.

The Scandinavian War of 1676 led to closure, which lasted until 1682. The university was reopened largely thanks to regional patriots, but it should not have enjoyed high status until the end of the 19th century. Lecture halls were few in number, and lectures were given in Lund Cathedral and the adjacent chapel. Professors were short of salaries.

In 1716, Charles XII of Sweden joined the Lund. He stayed in Lund for two years, between his military expeditions. Lund and the university attracted temporary attention. The most famous lecturer at the time was Andreas Rydelius.

After the death of Charles XII in 1718, peace was finally restored and additional funds were allocated to the university in the first half of the 18th century. Nowadays, the number of students is about 500. Although the University of Uppsala was not at the same level as Uppsala, it still gained a strong reputation and managed to attract prominent professors.

Lund University

Around 1760, the university's reputation dropped as the number of students fell below 200, most of whom came from across the province. By 1780, however, its reputation was largely restored and continued to grow during the 1820s. This was mainly due to popular and well-educated teachers, especially in the field of philology; the eminent professor Esaiah Tegner was a particularly prominent character with a wide reputation. He, in turn, attracted others to Lund. One of them was a young theological student, KG Brunius, who studied ancient languages under Tegner and later became a professor of Greek. Over time he devoted himself to architecture and redesigned several Lund buildings as well as the provincial church.

In 1845 and 1862 Lund organized student meetings of the Nordic countries together with the University of Copenhagen.

A student named Elsa Colleen was the first woman in the whole of Sweden to participate.

20th century - nowadays

At the beginning of the 20th century, the number of university students was only one thousand, consisting mainly of students of higher education institutions preparing to work in the public service, lawyers and doctors. In the following decades it began to grow significantly until it became one of the largest in the country. In 1964, the social sciences were separated from the Faculty of Humanities. The Lund Institute of Technology was founded in 1961, but eight years later it was merged with Lund University.

In recent years, Lund University has been very popular with applicants to Swedish universities, both nationally and internationally. Since autumn 2012, Lund has received 11,160 foreign Master's degree applications from 152 countries, representing approximately one third of all international applications to Swedish universities.

Women at the university

The first woman to study in Lund was Hildegard Björk (spring 1880), who had previously studied in Uppsala and was the first Swedish woman to receive an academic degree. However, her stay in Lund was very short, and the medical student Hedda Andersson, who entered the university later in 1880 (two years before the next woman), is usually mentioned as the first woman at Lund University. Hilma Borelia was the first woman to receive a doctorate from the University of Lund in 1910. The first woman to be appointed to the faculty was historian Birgitta Oden (1965). In 1992, Boel Flodgren, Professor of Commercial Law, was appointed Rector of the Magnificent (or, strictly speaking, rectrix magnifica) University of Lund. She was thus the first woman to head a European university.

Lund University