|Latin: Universitas Hafniensis|
|Motto||Coelestem adspicit lucem (Latin)|
Motto in English
|It (the eagle) beholds the celestial light|
|Type||Public research university|
|Budget||DKK 8.908 billion (US$1.32 bn) (2018)|
|Rector||Henrik C. Wegener|
South Campus and
|Affiliations||IARU, LERU and EUA|
The University of Copenhagen (UCPH) (Danish: Københavns Universitet) is the oldest university and research institution in Denmark. Founded in 1479 as a studium generale, it is the second oldest institution for higher education in Scandinavia after Uppsala University (1477). The university today is state-funded, and has 23,473 undergraduate students, 17,398 postgraduate students, 2,968 doctoral students and over 9,000 employees. The university has four campuses located in and around Copenhagen, with the headquarters located in central Copenhagen. Most courses are taught in Danish; however, many courses are also offered in English and a few in German. The university has several thousands of foreign students, about half of whom come from Nordic countries.
The university is a member of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), along with University of Cambridge, Yale University, The Australian National University, and UC Berkeley, amongst others, and of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities ranks the University of Copenhagen as the best university in Scandinavia and 26th in the world, the 2020 U.S. News & World Report ranks it as 7th in Europe and 32nd in the World, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as 101st in the world, and the 2016-2017 QS World University Rankings as 68th in the world. As of October 2019, the university has had 39 Nobel laureates affiliated as alumni, faculty members and researchers, and has produced one Turing Award recipient.
The university is governed by a board consisting of 11 members: 6 members recruited outside the university form the majority of the board, 2 members are appointed by the scientific staff, 1 member is appointed by the administrative staff, and 2 members are appointed by the university students. The rector, the prorector and the director of the university are appointed by the university board. The rector in turn appoints directors of the different parts of the central administration and deans of the different faculties. The deans appoint heads of 50 departments. There is no faculty senate and faculty is not involved in the appointment of rector, deans, or department heads. Hence the university has no faculty governance, although there are elected Academic Boards at faculty level who advise the deans. As of 2018 , the governing body manages an annual budget of about DKK 8.9 billion.
The University is organized into six faculties and about 100 departments and research centres. The University employs about 5,600 academic staff and 4,400 technical and administrative staff.
The total number of enrolled students is about 40,000, including about 23,000 undergraduate students and 17,000 graduate students. UCPH has established an international graduate talent program which provides grants for international Ph. D, students and a tenure track carrier system. UCPH operates about fifty master's programmes taught in English, and has arranged about 150 exchange agreements with other institutions and 800 Erasmus agreements. Each year there are about 1,700 incoming exchange students, 2,000 outbound exchange students and 4,000 international degree-seeking students. About 3,000 PhD students study there each year.
The University of Copenhagen currently has six faculties:
The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Science also use the Taastrup Campus, which is located in Taastrup on the western outskirts of Copenhagen. The Faculty of Science also has facilities in Helsingør, Hørsholm and Nødebo.
The University of Copenhagen was founded in 1479 and is the oldest university in Denmark. Between the closing of the Studium Generale in Lund in 1536 and the establishment of the University of Aarhus in the late 1920s, it was the only university in Denmark. The university became a centre of Roman Catholic theological learning, but also had faculties for the study of law, medicine, and philosophy.
The university was closed by the Church in 1531 to stop the spread of Protestantism, and re-established in 1537 by King Christian III after the Lutheran Reformation and transformed into an evangelical-Lutheran seminary. Between 1675 and 1788, the university introduced the concept of degree examinations. An examination for theology was added in 1675, followed by law in 1736. By 1788, all faculties required an examination before they would issue a degree.
In 1807, the British fleet bombarded Copenhagen during the Bombardment of Copenhagen, destroying most of the university's buildings. By 1836, however, the new main building of the university was inaugurated amid extensive building that continued until the end of the century. The University Library (now a part of the Royal Library), the Zoological Museum, the Geological Museum, the Botanic Garden with greenhouses, and the Technical College were also established during this period.
Between 1842 and 1850, the faculties at the university were restructured. Starting in 1842, the University Faculty of Medicine and the Academy of Surgeons merged to form the Faculty of Medical Science, while in 1848 the Faculty of Law was reorganised and became the Faculty of Jurisprudence and Political Science. In 1850, the Faculty of Mathematics and Science was separated from the Faculty of Philosophy. In 1845 and 1862 Copenhagen co-hosted nordic student meetings with Lund University.
The first female student was enrolled at the university in 1877. The university underwent explosive growth between 1960 and 1980. The number of students rose from around 6,000 in 1960 to about 26,000 in 1980, with a correspondingly large growth in the number of employees. Buildings built during this time period include the new Zoological Museum, the Hans Christian Ørsted and August Krogh Institutes, the campus centre on Amager Island, and the Panum Institute.
The new university statute instituted in 1970 involved democratisation of the management of the university. It was modified in 1973 and subsequently applied to all higher education institutions in Denmark. The democratisation was later reversed with the 2003 university reforms. Further change in the structure of the university from 1990 to 1993 made a Bachelor's degree programme mandatory in virtually all subjects.
Also in 1993, the law departments broke off from the Faculty of Social Sciences to form a separate Faculty of Law. In 1994, the University of Copenhagen designated environmental studies, north-south relations, and biotechnology as areas of special priority according to its new long-term plan. Starting in 1996 and continuing to the present, the university planned new buildings, including for the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Humanities at Amager (Ørestaden), along with a Biotechnology Centre. By 1999, the student population had grown to exceed 35,000, resulting in the university appointing additional professors and other personnel.
In 2003, the revised Danish university law removed faculty, staff and students from the university decision process, creating a top-down control structure that has been described as absolute monarchy, since leaders are granted extensive powers while being appointed exclusively by higher levels in the organization.
In 2005, the Center for Health and Society (Center for Sundhed og Samfund - CSS) opened in central Copenhagen, housing the Faculty of Social Sciences and Institute of Public Health, which until then had been located in various places throughout the city. In May 2006, the university announced further plans to leave many of its old buildings in the inner city of Copenhagen, an area that has been home to the university for more than 500 years. The purpose of this has been to gather the university's many departments and faculties on three larger campuses in order to create a bigger, more concentrated and modern student environment with better teaching facilities, as well as to save money on rent and maintenance of the old buildings. The concentration of facilities on larger campuses also allows for more inter-disciplinary cooperation; for example, the Departments of Political Science and Sociology are now located in the same facilities at CSS and can pool resources more easily.
In January 2007, the University of Copenhagen merged with the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University and the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Science. The two universities were converted into faculties under the University of Copenhagen, and were renamed as the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In January 2012, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the veterinary third of the Faculty of Life Sciences merged with the Faculty of Health Sciences forming the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences - and the other two thirds of the Faculty of Life Sciences were merged into the Faculty of Science.
Although many privately owned dormitories (kollegier in Danish) exist in Copenhagen, there are also five which are partially administered by the university. Only students who have passed at least two years of studies are considered for admission. These are normally referred to as the old dormitories, and they consist of Regensen, Elers' Kollegium, Borchs Kollegium, Hassagers Kollegium, and Valkendorfs Kollegium.
Contrary to the tradition of most American dormitories, Danish dormitories in general, and the old dormitories in particular, only offer single rooms for rent, meaning no student has to share their room with others.
When the university was re-established by Christian III in 1537 after the Protestant Reformation, it received a new seal, showing king Christian III with crown, sceptre, and globus cruciger above a crowned coat of arms vertically divided between halved versions of the coat of arms of Denmark (to the viewer's left, dexter) and the coat of arms of Norway (to the viever's right, sinister). The text is
The 1537 seal is very similar to the current seal, which was made in 2000 and is shown at the top of this page. The text is different and the crowned shield shows the coat of arms of Denmark (as has been the case since 1820, when the heraldic reference to Norway was removed). The text is
In addition to the university seal, each of the university's six faculties carry seals of their own.
The 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranks the University of Copenhagen as the best university in Denmark and Scandinavia, the 6th best university in Europe, and 26th in the Top 500 World Universities ranking. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2020, the University of Copenhagen is ranked first in Denmark and at 101st overall in the world. In the 2016-2017 QS World University Rankings list, the University of Copenhagen was ranked 68th. In the 2020 U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities Rankings list, the University of Copenhagen is ranked first in Denmark, 7th in Europe and 32nd in the World.
The university cooperates with universities around the world. In January 2006, the University of Copenhagen entered into a partnership of ten top universities, along with the Australian National University, ETH Zürich, National University of Singapore, Peking University, University of California Berkeley, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Tokyo and Yale University. The partnership is referred to as the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU).
|1823||1824||Matthias Hastrup Bornemann|
|1824||1825||Oluf Lundt Bang|
|1825||1826||Hans Christian Ørsted|
|1826||1827||Knud Lyne Rahbek|
|1827||1828||Peter Erasmus Müller|
|1828||1829||Johan Frederik Vilhelm Schlegel|
|1829||1830||Johan Sylvester Saxtorph|
|1830||1831||Jens Wilken Hornemann|
|1831||1832||Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger|
|1833||1834||Janus Lauritz Andreas Kolderup Rosenvinge|
|1834||1835||Johan Daniel Herholdt|
|1835||1836||Christian Thorning Engelstoft|
|1836||1837||Erich Christian Werlauff|
|1837||1838||Henrik Nicolai Clausen|
|1838||1839||Johannes Ephraim Larsen|
|1839||1840||Oluf Lundt Bang|
|1840||1841||Hans Christian Ørsted|
|1841||1842||Peter Oluf Brøndsted|
|1842||1843||Carl Emil Scharling|