Sweden fuses arts into top-notch college

Three of the capital's arts colleges are to merge in a bid to make the new Stockholm University of the Arts a leading culture research facility on the global stage, as well as offering a new PhD programme.

Sweden fuses arts into top-notch college

The Swedish University of Dance and Circus (DOCH), the University College of Opera (OHS) and the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts (SADA) will join together to create the Stockholm University of the Arts.

“It is quite a unique thing too when money is diminishing in Europe and the world in higher education,” Eino Örnfeldt, chair of the university’s organizational committee, told The Local.

“The aim is to pull in resources, create an environment in Stockholm and in Sweden that is big enough in a subject that is not that well-presented here.”

The collaborative research and education facility will open its doors in January 2014, just two years after the three colleges applied for government permission to create the new university.

The new institution will receive funding totaling 40 million kronor ($6 million) from the government, which in its Research and Innovation bill (Gov. bill 2012/13.30) made a special observation about the positive development in today’s arts research in Sweden.

Stockholm’s other creative colleges in the city have opted out of the merger due to concerns over losing their autonomy.

“I am pessimistic about being able to retain independence,” Måns Wrange, principal of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, told Sverige Radio.

Örnfeldt dismissed concerns the mergers may cause administrative issues for the individual colleges. “There will be 25 percent additional money going to each college,” he added. “They will still be independent to run their education; to do things in the same way as they do now.”

In addition to establishing a leading research facility, Stockholm University of the Arts hopes to be able to offer the award of Doctor of the Arts to students within three years, something none of the colleges have previously been able to do because of their limited resources and size.

“For individual artists, the hope is that they will find new ways of inventing and exploring their art,” Örnfeldt explained. “The university will provide a meeting place for other artists both in and outside of the university.”

“We’ve already started to collaborate with Lund and Göteborg universities. If it becomes a success, as we hope for, it will create interest in arts research around the world.”

Currently, Gothenburg and Lund are two of only three institutions in the country with the licence to award doctorates to researchers in the arts, the other being Borås in the southwest of Sweden.

Victoria Hussey


Victoria on Twitter here

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).