History of the University
Uppsala University, founded in 1477, was the first university in Scandinavia. The initiative in this matter came from the Primate of the Catholic Church of Sweden, Archbishop Jakob Ulvsson of Uppsala. The new University was small, having at most 50 students and a handful of professors. The University fell into decay in the first decade of the 16th century due to the political unrest of the period. However, this situation changed at the end of the 16th century: a decision was made at the Church council in Uppsala in 1593 to restore the privileges of the University.
At the end of the 18th century, the Swedish king Gustav III (1771–1792) took a lively interest in the University. One of the ways he demonstrated this interest was by donating to the University the extensive garden which belonged to the Royal Castle of Uppsala. Since then this garden has been known as the Botanical Garden. A building with an impressive colonnade, which still adorns the garden, was erected there in memory of Linnaeus and in honour of Gustav III.
Uppsala University celebrated its 400th anniversary with pomp and circumstance in 1877. As a present from the Swedish state on this occasion, the University received a new university building – University Hall – which is still in use. The building was officially opened ten years later in 1887.
The number of students, which had been about 5,000 in the 1950s, increased dramatically in the 1960s, reaching some 20,000 students before stabilising at a somewhat lower level. In the 1990s new expansion has taken place, with more than 30,000 students involved in undergraduate education. All education is now subject to selective admissions. In postgraduate education there are greater demands for better through-put efficiency.