History of the University of Gävle

The university's history from establishment until today.



The pandemic continued with remote learning and working from home. In August, torrential rains and flooding led to water damage in the University's basement.

The Royal Skyttean Society Prize was awarded to Jennie Jackson, a researcher in occupational health sciences.

The Gävle model, developed in collaboration between the University and the Municipality of Gävle, received a European award. 18 million SEK was granted by Forte for research on inclusive working life.

The University of Gävle was once again the most popular university (first-choice applicants for programmes).

The Crown Princess Couple visited the University and discussed the effects of the pandemic and research questions. Minister for European Affairs Hans Dahlgren also visited the University. The 100th anniversary of democracy in Sweden gave rise to a digital meeting between the Speaker of the Riksdag Andreas Norlén and University researchers and students.

The government appointed Amir Rostami to lead the fight against welfare­ crime.

The process involving the development of the strategically profiled educational portfolio began.


Alan Kabanshi, senior lecturer in energy systems, is awarded the Royal Skyttean Society prize for excellent research achievements.

In March, University of Gävle switches to online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The University thus follows recommendations from the Government and the Public Health Agency in Sweden to limit the spread of COVID-19.

For the first time, University of Gävle launches a five-year long Master of Science programme in engineering, with a unique specialisation in land management and surveying. In September, the first students to begin the programme are welcomed by University of Gävle’s Vice-Chancellor Ylva Fältholm.

The Vice-Chancellor takes the decision that the new education and research strategy applies until the year of 2030. One focus area in the strategy is lifelong learning.

Four strategic research areas replace the earlier research profiles at the University. These areas are: Urban Sustainability, Health Promoting Work, Innovative Learning and Intelligent Industry. Each research area has two research directors focused on furthering interdisciplinary approaches.


David Hallman, researcher in occupational health sciences, is awarded the Royal Skyttean Society prize of the year, a prize awarded to younger excellent researchers. This is the first time that the prize ceremony is held at University of Gävle.

A unique test rig for quality steel opens at University of Gävle. Here companies within the steel industry in the region can test special steel with an exact cooling curve.

University of Gävle is appointed an Elite Sports-Friendly University, as we provide a good environment for the combination of high-performance sport and university-level studies.

University of Gävle is together with Dalarna University and Mälardalen University awarded SEK 25,9 million SEK by the Knowledge Foundation to establish the research school “Future-Proof Cities” focused on urban sustainability.

Director, dramatist and commentator Stina Oscarson is appointed Honorary Doctor at the University.

The University Board adopts a new vision, a new mission statement and new core values for the University.


The Swedish Higher Education Authority gives University of Gävle the right to award a degree of Master of Science in Engineering for a five-year long programme.

The research programme Urban Studio is established at University of Gävle. Its research focuses on urban sustainability.

Sajid Rafique and Magnus Isaksson, researchers at University of Gävle, are awarded a prize at a conference in Italy for their exoskeleton which is to be used to restore mobility to people who are older and/or who have reduced mobility so as to improve their abilities to manage their everyday life.

The University launches a third-cycle programme in industrial engineering and management and in electronics.

The University hosts the major international conference ATEE which aims to enhance quality in teacher education.

Thomas Nylund, CEO for Gästrike återvinnare, is appointed Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Science at the University.


In May, the University celebrates its 40th anniversary with a big party.

Former UN civil servant Anders Kompass is awarded the Stig Dagerman prize.

How to create an open democracy is the theme of an open seminar series organised by the University.

University of Gävle finds a new vice-chancellor after Maj-Britt Johansson. In October, the inauguration of the takes place, and Ylva Fältholm takes office.

University of Gävle is awarded 1 million SEK from the Swedish Research Council together with five other higher education institutions to develop a new graduate school focused on digital technologies in education called GRADE.


University of Gävle begins a close research cooperation within the field geodata with Lantmäteriet.

The first students graduate from University of Gävle’s study programme in applied criminology.

University of Gävle launches the new bachelor programme Health-Promotion through Sustainable Development.

Three new honorary doctors are appointed at University of Gävle: former governor Barbro Holmberg, Professor Roland Kadefors and Professor Stephen Stansfeld. They have all contributed greatly to research and development at the University.


The Krusenstierna Hall is inaugurated, a modern hall for dissertations and lectures. At the day of the inauguration, the first PhD student of the University defends his thesis "How memory of the past, a predictable present and expectations of the future underpin adaptation to sound environment".

The technique in automation - such as robotics, artificial intelligence and image processing - is developing very fast and University of Gävle invests in four high-tech laboratories for service robots, Exo-legs, development of electronic smell sensors and digital image processing.

University of Gävle is second best in Sweden among broad universities when it comes to the number of first-hand applicants to study programmes. Our Study Programme in Business Administration is the 12th most popular programme in the country.


Three Honorary Doctorates are nominated: Nawal el Saadawi, Egyptian medical doctor, author and advocate for human rights; Arne Ljungqvist, medical doctor in Sports Medicine and Professor in Anti-Doping and Per Laurell, Chief Executive of Gävle Energi.

The Co-op programme in Mechanical Engineering is the ninth best study programme in the country in a survey made by Swedish enterprise. In Co-op studies are combined with periods of paid work at a company.

The Research Foundation Forte awards the Forte Centre The Body at Work - from problem to potential additional funding of 20 million SEK.


Swedish Higher Education Authority evaluate the quality of first and second-cycle study programmes. The programmes in Land Surveying, Spatial Planning and Energy Systems at the University of Gävle get top grade.


The University is, for the second time, granted permission to offer third-cycle study programmes in a profile area, now in Health-promoting Working Life.
The study programme in Automation Engineering begins.

University of Gävle is lead partner for the Industrial PhD School Reesbe and twelve PhD students are recruited.

The first edition of the university magazine LEVE! is published.


The first doctoral students are admitted for third-cycle studies in the area of Built Environment.


Three faculties substitute the previous six departments and a joint education and research board is established.

The University is granted permission to offer third-cycle study programmes in the profile area of Built environment.


Maj-Britt Johansson is appointed as Vice-Chancellor.


The Centre for Musculoskeletal Research (CBF) is integrated into the University.


The University College of Health Sciences is integrated in the University and becomes a separate department, the Department of Health Sciences and Social Care.


Leif Svensson is appointed as Vice-Chancellor.


BMG (Built Environment in Gävle) is integrated into the university.


The University changes its Swedish name to Högskolan i Gävle.
The student accommodations in Midgårdslunden close to the University are completed and students move in.

The same year, the Study Programme Environment-Communication-Economics begins.


The University College of Health Sciences moves to Kungsbäck.


The activities of the university are coordinated and moved to Kungsbäck in Gävle to rebuilt facilities previously occupied by the Hälsinge regiment.

The same year, the International Office of the university is established.

A Pre-school Teacher Education with a specialisation in Natural Sciences and Technology, the first in the country, and the Study Programme Creative Programming, which combines computer sciences with artistic expertise are also established this year.


An extensive organisational change results in a division of the activities into five departments with subject sections.
A faculty board responsible for the study programmes and a research board responsible for the direct government funding for research are established.


The one-year Study Programme in Real Estate Brokering, the first in the country, begins. This year, a project for developing contacts with universities for teacher and student exchanges is also initiated.


The number of full-time equivalent places increases to approximately 1 300.


Birgitta Stymne appointed as Vice-Chancellor. A new study programme for compulsory school teachers grades 1–7 begins.


The two-year Study Programme in Material Science and Production Technology Engineering begins.


The Real Estate Management Programme and YTH (first-cycle applied technology programme) Office are established.


A local Study Programme in Electronics is established in Sandviken.


The number of full-time equivalent places increases to approximately 1 100.

A local Study Programme in Computer Technology is established in Sandviken.


The municipal higher education in ADP is located to the University.


A new organisation with two departments – for Behavioural Sciences, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and for subject fields of Methodology and Communication – is established.


YTH (first-cycle applied technology programme) Steel is established.

July 1, 1977

University College of Gävle/Sandviken is established. Wenche Nerdrum-Ullman is the first Vice-Chancellor of the University.


The local study programmes Preventive Care Programme and Business Technology Programme are established.

This page was last updated 2024-04-17