A brief history

Higher education has been taking place in Lund ever since the foundation of a studium generale in 1438, which trained future pastors. It was operational from 1438, until the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, when Denmark lost the southern counties to Sweden. Then, in 1666, to demonstrate the re-establishment of Swedish control, Lund University was founded.

Lund University was founded in 1666 as a centre for Swedish education in the provinces then recently acquired from Denmark. The teaching of business-related subjects traces back to 1750, when the University got its first chair in economics. However, at that time, the professors usually had much broader academic fields to cover and they were often affiliated with other faculties within the university. For example, in the early days following his appointment at the university, the most well-known professor of Economics from Lund, Knut Wicksell, was professor of Economics and Fiscal Law at the Faculty of Law. Other professors combined Economics with subjects such as Botany, Mathematics or Mechanics.

Over the years to come, the departments that today constitute the School of Economics and Management were established. The Department of Economics was established in 1901 as a part of the Faculty of Law, the Department of Statistics was started in 1926 within the Faculty of Natural Science, while the Department of Economic History emerged as a separate department within the Faculty of Humanities around 1950. The Department of Business Administration was established in 1958 and the Department of Informatics in 1965, both within the Faculty of Social Sciences.

In 1961, the Faculty of Business and Economics was established and the first class of 100 students was enrolled for a three year long programme. Since then, some 25.000 students have been educated in Business and Economics at Lund University.

The Department of Business Law became a department of its own in 1962, the Research Policy Institute was established in 1979 and the Institute of Economic Research was founded in 1986.

Although there is a long history of informal ties and close co-operation between the different units, the formal development of a unified School began in the late 1980s, when the first part of the campus – the Holger Crafoord Centre – was built with generous donations from the Crafoord Foundation. The building is named after the founder of the foundation, the industrialist Holger Crafoord (1908-1982). The Holger Crafoord Centre was built in three stages during the period 1988-1998.

An organisational change in 2004 led to the establishment of the School of Economics and Management as a separate faculty within Lund University.

The Centre for Economic Demography was established in 2006 - the same year the Centre was awarded one of the Linnaeus grants that form part of the Swedish Research Council's new emphasis on long-term financing of cutting-edge research.

The latest development in terms of organisational structure is the establishment of the Knut Wicksell Centre of Finance, following a commitment of long-term funding by VINNOVA, the Swedish innovation agency. The Centre will be the hub of research in finance as well as interdisciplinary research in broader areas relating to financial markets. In addition, the Centre will pursue collaboration with practitioners.

About Lund and the University

Lund was founded, as a Danish town, in the late tenth century. In the 12th century it became an archbishopric and a leading religious, academic and cultural centre in Scandinavia.

Lund University has a long and vibrant history covering almost 350 years of teaching. Today it is one of the largest universities in Scandinavia - a centre of learning and research in eight different subject areas: Law, Economics and Management, Humanities/Theology, Fine and Performing Arts, Medicine, Science, Social Sciences, and Engineering.

Lund University is a member of the prestigious research-intensive university networks Universitas 21 (U21) and the League of European Research Universities (LERU).

Two of the world’s foremost research facilities for materials research and life science are established in Lund. MAX IV, which was inaugurated in June 2016, is the leading synchrotron radiation facility in the world.

The European research facility ESS will be the world’s most powerful neutron source when it opens for research in 2023.

MAX IV and ESS will have a major impact on future scientific and industrial development in both materials science and life science.

Ideon Science Park, Medicon Village and Science Village Scandinavia are closely linked to Lund University, integrating research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

More information

A brief history of Lund University

Traditions at Lund University

Last published: 2020-01-21