List of Terms

The academic world uses its own terms and concepts. Many of these date back to the universities in medieval times and are used internationally. Others are more recent additions to the bounty of terms and are specific to Swedish universities. Below is a brief list of terms with some of the most commonly used words.

Academic quarter It is an old tradition at many universities that the lecture or seminar begins fifteen minutes after the specified time. This tradition is applied to some courses, but not everywhere.
Ceremonial
inauguration
of professors
Public ceremony each autumn in which new professors are inaugurated in their post by the Vice-Chancellor and hold their inaugural lecture.
College year The programme gives participants basic skills for university studies and better qualifications for successful studies at the university level. The College year is administrated by the Folkuniversitetet.
Course All undergraduate education is carried out in the form of courses. Study programmes consist of linked courses. Most courses are for 7.5 credits and up to 30 credits.
Credits The extent of university studies is given in credits. Thirty credits are equal to one academic term of full-time study. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) of credits is followed by at Umeå University. A 5 week single-subject course is typically worth 7.5 ECTS.
CV (Curriculum Vitae) The Latin name for a list of personal qualifications (also called résumé).
Dean Chairman of the faculty board and the person in charge of faculty activities.
Decentralised education Education that is carried out in another location. For instance, the university's programme for a master's degree in sustainable management is decentralised and located in Örnsköldsvik.
Degree General degrees: university certificate 120 credits (2 yrs.), bachelor's degree 180 credits (3 yrs.), master's degree 120 credits (2 yrs.). Occupational degrees: includes medical degree, psychology degree, law degree, engineering degree, teaching degree.
Degree conferment ceremony Ceremonial gathering in Aula Nordica in which those who have completed their Ph.D. are presented with its ostensible symbols: ring, diploma and mortarboard or laurel wreath
Department The basic unit at the university is the department. Education and research are carried out here in one or several related areas. The department is the primary place of employment, not just for students, teachers and researchers, but also for other professional categories like administrators, janitors, technicians and instrument makers.
Department head The head of operations in a department.
Dissertation Scientific thesis which the student defends in public to receive a Ph.D.
Distance education For people who for various reasons have difficulty participating in instruction full-time in Umeå, distance education has been set up in a number of subjects. The courses are often run as half-time courses. Students study in their hometowns, but several times a term, usually on weekends, they meet for education or examination in Umeå or elsewhere.
Doctoral student A student who is pursuing studies for a Ph.D. degree, that is, postgraduate studies.
Educational brief In its decree of instructions, the government establishes the requirements, framework and restrictions for undergraduate education at the various universities
Exam Also called a test, oral or written, which is taken at the end of a course or completed portion of a course. If the student fails to pass the exam, he or she has an opportunity to retake the exam.
Faculty Unified organisational unit for related subjects in education and research. At Umeå University there are five faculties. the faculties of arts; science and technology; medicine; social sciences and a faculty for teacher education
Faculty board The faculty's decision-making body. The faculty boards are responsible for undergraduate education, postgraduate education and research in their different scientific areas.
First cycle (basic level) The first cycle comprises general education, which leads to a two-year University Diploma, a three-year Bachelor’s degree, as well as all vocational degrees shorter than four years
National Agency for Higher Education From 1 January 2013, the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education has ceased to exist as a public authority. Its operations has been transferred to two new public authorities: the Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet) and the Swedish Council for Higher Education (Universitets- och högskolerådet).
Postgraduate education To qualify for postgraduate education, a university undergraduate degree of at least 240 credits (4 yrs.) is required. The specific requirements for qualifying vary. As a rule, 60 credits in the research subject are required. Postgraduate eduation is financed by study allowances, education grants or postgraduate appointments.
Public defence When a doctoral student presents and defends his or her dissertation in public
Public posting of dissertations ("Spikning") Following a centuries-old tradition, dissertations are officially posted, nailed up on the university's official noticeboard using a hammer and nail, in the Administration Building.
Second cycle (advanced level) The second cycle comprises for general education a one-year Master's degree and a two-year Master’s degree, as well as all vocational degrees which are four years or longer.
Seminar Form of education carried out in groups in which there is a discussion of a text, such as an essay, book or article.
Student funding allowance The amount of money the government gives the university for each student studying full-time.
Student unions Student unions are to look after the interests of individual students in their studies. Students at universities and university colleges in Sweden are required by law to be members of the student union. At Umeå University there are three student unions: Umeå Union of Students, Umeå Student Union of Science and Technology, Medical Sciences Student Union.
Study programme A study programme is a planned course of study for a degree. Most programmes have a fixed course of study largely with required subjects and courses. Students who have been accepted to programmes are guaranteed a place in required courses.
Swedish Council for Higher Education (Universitets- och högskolerådet) (web site in Swedish) The council is responsible for the recognition of qualifications from other countries, information about study programmes and issues relating to admissions.
Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet) The Swedish Higher Education Authority is responsible for the quality assurance and supervision of higher education and for following up, analysing and the external monitoring of issues within the authority's area of responsibility.
Third cycle (postgraduate level) There are two degrees within the third cycle: a two-year licentiate degree and a four-year doctoral degree. Until now there have been two levels –undergraduate studies and postgraduate studies.


Böcker i bokhylla

Image: Mattias Pettersson

Related Information

HSV English-Swedish Word List