Lund University – A Brief History
Lund University has a long and vibrant history covering almost 350 years of teaching. It has evolved from just a few hundred students and professors being paid with meat and grain into its present form, with around 47 000 students and a position of excellence in international teaching and research.
Sweden has had, in the past, a turbulent history with Denmark. With the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, Denmark lost the southern counties of Skåne, Blekinge and Halland to Sweden. Lund University was founded in 1666 as a step in the process of making Skåne Swedish and to demonstrate the re-establishment of Swedish control. There had previously been a studium generale (the equivalent of a university college) for priests in Lund, founded in 1438 and operational in the 16th century.
The new university was given the name Regia Academia Carolina. At the beginning there were only four faculties – theology, law, medicine and philosophy.
Originally, the University did not have any premises of its own for teaching. At the end of the 17th century Karl XI donated Kungshuset in the Lundagård park to the University, which thus acquired its first main building.
The real rise of the University came during the 18th century. New chairs were established and the number of students increased.
In 1852 the University was given new statutes that replaced the outdated regulations in force, and the state took over responsibility for finances. In the 1880s the first few female students began studying in Lund.
In the late 19th century, the Faculty of Philosophy was divided into a Faculty of Humanities and a Faculty of Science. In 1964 the social sciences were broken off from the humanities. In 1969 the Lund Institute of Technology (LTH) became the Faculty of Engineering. Later additions have included the School of Social Work and the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts. At the end of the 20th century the University had developed into its current structure, with eight core faculties and a range of surrounding institutes.
In 1900 there were only 1 000 students in Lund, a small elite who were educated for higher public office as priests, teachers, doctors and lawyers. Lund University grew strongly throughout the 20th century and is today Sweden’s largest institution of higher education and research.
The campus reflects the University’s history, with magnificent buildings separated by cobbled streets and green spaces, but also its vision for the future with, for example, one of Sweden’s largest science parks located close to the campus and the planned MAX IV facility and ESS European spallation source.
Ad utrumque, ‘prepared for both’, is Lund University’s motto, referring to the book and the sword in the University’s seal from the 17th century. Today the expression can be applied to a number of the dual values for which the University stands, such as tradition and innovation or breadth and depth.