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Published: 24 Jun, 2008

Umeå University to launch architectural programme autumn 2009

NEWS The Swedish National Agency of Higher Education has today given approval for Umeå University to offer a degree in architectural education. The study programme will begin in autumn 2009 and the vision is to create an international education of top-class.

“This is the first time since 1966 that an architectural education will begin in Sweden and it is extremely gratifying that the National Agency of Higher Education has given Umeå University their confidence. This is something that Umeå University has been really passionate about, and we will now make a vigorous effort to recruit the best teachers. We plan to achieve this not only in Sweden but also internationally,” says Göran Sandberg, Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University.

Umeå University has invested a total of 37.5 million SEK in extra resources for recruitment of teachers and the purchase of advanced equipment. The study programme in architecture will be five years in duration and will enrol 45 students annually, both international and Swedish. Among other things, the application will include work samples. The architecture graduates will be characterized by the fact that they have innovative, artistic, scientific and professional skills. The educational programme will have a clear international focus and the graduates will be expected to be active not only in Sweden, but also in the international market.

In autumn 2010, the students will move into a new building which is specially designed to accommodate the School of Architecture. The building will be located in the area occupied by Umeå School of Design and Academy of Fine Arts, which will be called the Campus of Arts and Design. The campus will also include Bildmuseet, which has one of Sweden’s most comprehensive exhibitions of contemporary art, and HUMlab, which engages in leading work in the field of digital visualisation within humanities and information technology.

“The concept is based on close cooperation between the various activities that art, design and architecture together can benefit from each other. The Campus of Arts and Design will be an environment that attracts creative people from Umea, the whole of Sweden and the world,” says Göran Sandberg.

The head of the School of Architecture is Peter Kjær, an internationally respected architect and former head of the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark, one of Europe's premier institutions of architectural education. The School of Architecture at Umeå University will be headed by a board of directors which will consist of both representatives of the university and architects. In addition, an advisory body will be linked to the school in order to ensure quality and develop education. The group will composed of internationally renowned architects and educators of architecture.

Umeå University’s architectural education will be the fourth in Sweden given the right to award a degree. The previous programmes were at the Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology and Lund University.

The National Agency of Higher Education will evaluate the study programme at Umeå University after a period of three years.

For further information, contact: Göran Sandberg, Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University Phone: +46 70-318 12 75

Editor: Karin Wikman