Uppsala University (Swedish: Uppsala universitet) is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the oldest university in Sweden, founded in 1477. It ranks among the best universities in Northern Europe in international rankings.
The university rose to pronounced significance during the rise of Sweden as a great power at the end of the 16th century and was then given a relative financial stability with the large donation of King Gustavus Adolphus in the early 17th century. Uppsala also has an important historical place in Swedish national culture, identity and for the Swedish establishment: in historiography, literature, politics, and music. Many aspects of Swedish academic culture in general, such as the white student cap, originated in Uppsala. It shares some peculiarities, such as the student nation system, with Lund University and the University of Helsinki.
Uppsala belongs to the Coimbra Group of European universities. The university has nine faculties distributed over three "disciplinary domains". It has about 23,000 full-time students, and about 2,400 doctoral students. It has a teaching staff of roughly 4,000 (part-time and full-time) out of a total of 6,200 employees. Twenty-four percent of the 575 professors at the university are women. Of its turnover of 5.5 billion SEK (approx. 850 million USD) in 2012, 29% went to education on basic and advanced level, while 67% went to research and research programs.
Architecturally, Uppsala University has traditionally had a strong presence in the area around the cathedral on the western side of the River Fyris. Despite some more contemporary building developments further away from the centre, Uppsala's historic centre continues to be dominated by the presence of the university.
As with most medieval universities, Uppsala University initially grew out of an ecclesiastical center. The archbishopric of Uppsala had been one of the most important sees in Sweden proper since Christianity first spread to this region in the ninth century. Uppsala had also long been a hub for regional trade, and had contained settlements dating back into the deep Middle Ages. As was also the case with most medieval universities, Uppsala had initially been chartered through a papal bull. Uppsala's bull, which granted the university its corporate rights, was issued by Pope Sixtus IV in 1477, and established a number of provisions. Among the most important of these was that the university was officially given the same freedoms and privileges as the University of Bologna. This included the right to establish the four traditional faculties of theology, law (Canon Law and Roman law), medicine, and philosophy, and to award the bachelors, masters, licentiate, and doctorate degrees. The archbishop of Uppsala was also named as the university's Chancellor, and was charged with maintaining the rights and privileges of the university and its members.